Unbundling INEC, Eliminate RECs -Situation Room Advocates

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Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has called for constitutional amendment to unbundle the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and eliminate the position of Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).

The election monitoring body said this following shortcomings witnessed during the 2023 general elections,

Convener, Situation Room, Ene Obi, made the observation in Abuja, yesterday, while presenting final position of the body on conduct of the election.

She advised authorities to appoint state directors of elections to replace the commissioners.

According to Obi, suggestion by the Justice Uwais Committee for unbundling of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must be considered and implemented without delay.

She insisted that an effective legal framework must be formulated for the establishment of Electoral Offences Commission and Tribunal, Political Parties Registration and Regulation Commission, and an agency to handle constituency delimitation.

She noted that proposed amendments to the Constitution must include issues critical to inclusiveness of the electoral process, such as endorsement of early voting for election day workers, independent candidacy and voting by Nigerians in diaspora, in conformity with international principles for democratic elections.

“Any future amendments to election legislation should be enacted sufficiently in advance of elections, to provide political parties, candidates and voters adequate time to become informed of new rules of the election process.”

On election administration, she called on INEC to institute a process of post-election audit to make the commission understand and account for lapses during elections and undertake measures to prevent repeat of the lapses.

She said: “With regards to the 2023 general elections, INEC should conduct “an audit of polling units where elections did not take place to establish reasons for the failure, an audit to provide to the public details of the process leading up to the results it collated for the election, an audit to provide to the public information on why the INEC Results Viewing (IReV) Portal malfunctioned, despite assurances of its robustness.”

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