EU deploys election observers to Nigeria

The European Union, EU, has deployed a team of observers to Nigeria for the upcoming 2015 general election.

The team referred to as the Election Observation Mission, EOM, for the Presidential, National Assembly, Governor and State Houses elections in February consists of a nine-member analyst, that arrived on January 6 – following an advance team present during the party primaries and a 30 long term observer – arrived on January 12.

The EU observation mission ​will ​be led by Santiago Ayxela, Member of the European Parliament, Spain, who will arrive in Abuja later this week​. The group​ will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the entire electoral process.

This process includes assessing the legal framework, performance of the election administration, voter registration, candidates’ nomination and political parties primaries.

It will also assess campaign activities, respect for fundamental freedoms, access to and conduct of the media, voting and the counting, the announcement and acceptance of results, and complaints and appeals.

The EOM will also assess the elections against national law and international principles for elections contained in regional and international law and standards. These will be done at the invitation of Nigerian authorities.

Mr. Ayxela, the chief observer in a statement said, “The EU EOM’s extended presence shows the EU’s commitment to the conduct of inclusive, transparent and credible elections in Nigeria.

“We don’t just focus on the election days, but on all aspects of the electoral process, including the arbitration of petitions long after voting is finished”

A delegation from the European Parliament and EU diplomats in Nigeria will also join the mission on election days.

The EU was invited to deploy an observation mission by the Nigerian authorities and has signed Memorandums of Understanding with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The mission will publish its initial findings in preliminary statements that will be presented in press conferences two days after each Election Day while a final report that will include recommendations for improvements in future election will be published later.

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