‘Nigeria adopted only one of 50 EU post-2011 elections recommendations’

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The European Union Election Observation Mission, EU EOM, on Tuesday in Abuja said that only one out of 50 recommendations made by the EU observation team after the 2011 general election have been adopted by Nigeria.
Speaking at a briefing in Abuja, the Chief Observer, EU EOM, Santiago Ayxela, said the EU, through its observation team, made 50 recommendations after the 2011 elections.

However, the Nigerian government only adopted the provision of the Freedom of Information, FOI, Act.
Mr. Ayxela said 90 team members of the EU EOM will be deployed to various states in Nigeria excluding the troubled North Eastern region due to insecurity.

However, irrespective of the absence of the EU team in these areas, Mr. Ayxela said the EU commission will monitor reports and happenings in these areas.

“We already had advance analysts here for the primaries who noted that they passed relatively peacefully, but the system is problematic with restrictions on the right to stand and therefore reduced choice for voters on Election Day. We will also stay longer as the petitions process is critical,” Mr. Ayxela said.

Stating that the upcoming elections are crucial and challenging test for democracy in Nigeria, Mr. Ayxela said the EU will be monitoring the election process, against national law and international principles for elections contained in regional and universal law and standards.

The process, he said, will continue over an extended period of time.
“We observe and analyse each component of the process, carefully considering how those competing and voting in the elections are served. We will give our preliminary assessment two days after each election day,” he said.

He said a final report and recommendations for future elections will be published at a later stage as the EU will be totally impartial and will not interfere in the electoral process.

Speaking on concerns and technical challenges with the collection of Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, Mr. Ayexla stressed the need for a fair and violence free election come February 2015 and the ability of tribunals and courts to provide remedy in cases of grievances.

Also, the EU EOM Deputy Chief Observer, Hannah Roberts, added that private and public media houses will be monitored by the commission to ensure balancing and fairness to all parties before, during and after the 2015 general elections.

Nigeria general elections is scheduled for next month, with the Presidential and National Assembly elections taking place on February 18 while the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly polls will hold on February 28.

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