Elections: EU commends Nigerians, CSOs

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The European Union Elections Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Nigeria has commended Nigerians and the civil society organisations for their “role in enhancing the transparency and accountability of the electoral process.”

EU EOM also advised that there is need for more transparency and communication during the whole process, with political parties, civil society organisations, the media and most importantly citizens playing significant roles.

Maria Arena, the mission’s Chief Observer, made the commendation at the presentation of the mission’s preliminary report on Monday in Abuja.

Ms Arena said in spite of the fact that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) operated in a difficult environment, there was a significant improvement since 2015.

“The civil society organisations played a vital role in enhancing transparency and accountability of the electoral process.

 “The elections were marked by operational shortcomings resulting in delays, but positively, there were a number of improvements since 2015,’’ she said.

Ms Arena said that the elections were competitive, while the candidates campaigned freely and voters’ turnout was impressive in spite of the last minute postponement of the elections.

“The last-minute postponement of the elections and the delayed to start voting on February 23 placed an unfriendly burden on voters.

“However, campaigns were free throughout the campaign process and voters seemed to overcome logistic burdens from the postponement,” the observer said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on the Election Day, 91 EU observers witnessed the opening, voting and closing processes in 261 polling units.

Also, they witnessed the collation of results in 94 centres across 31 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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