The Civil Society Election Situation Room monitored the Anambra election.
The announcement of supplementary elections in Anambra State by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is an admission of the commission’s failings in the gubernatorial election, the Civil Society Election Situation Room has said.
The INEC has fixed a supplementary election in areas where elections failed to hold or were cancelled after the November 16 poll in the state.
The date for the new election is yet to be announced.
In a statement, the Civil Society Election Situation Room, one of the accredited groups that monitored the election, said that these lapses put a question mark on INEC’s preparedness to conduct future elections.
“The Civil Society Election Situation Room is concerned that the problems and lapses identified in the Anambra State Governorship elections are systemic in nature, and may not be sufficiently addressed before the announced supplementary elections in the State,” the group said.
“The Situation Room is further concerned that INEC may still be bedevilled by the range of identified problems, unless it acts with the decisiveness and honesty of purpose required at this time.”
While announcing the result of the governorship election, James Epoke, the Chief Returning Officer, declared it inconclusive because it failed to meet some requirements of the Electoral Act.
“The rule guiding this election is that for a winner to emerge, he must have majority of votes cast and the required spread of 25 percent of votes in two thirds of the local government areas,” Prof. Epoke had said.
“We observed that due to many reasons there were a lot of cancelled votes that make it difficult for a winner to emerge,” he had added.
The Civil Society Election Situation Room called on INEC to outline what plans it has put in place to improve logistics so as to restore the waning voter confidence in the supplementary election in Anambra State.
“The Situation Room also calls on INEC to publicly outline its strategies for improving on future elections including the planned Governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states in 2014, as well as the general elections of 2015.”