2019: EU deploys election observer mission to Nigeria

The European Union headquarters in the Belgian capital, Brussels [Photo: Press TV]
The European Union (EU) headquarters in the Belgian capital, Brussels [Photo: Press TV]

The European Commission on Friday announced the deployment of high-powered elections observer mission to Nigeria to monitor the 2019 general elections.

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, named Maria Arena as the Chief Observer European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Nigeria for the General elections.

Ms Arena is a member of the European Parliament from Belgium.

The deployment of the EU Election Observation Mission follows an invitation by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to come and monitor he elections scheduled between February 16 and March 2, 2019.

The EU has consistently followed the electoral processes and deployed an elections observer mission (EOM) to Nigeria’s general elections since 1999, reflecting its long-term commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country.

A statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES to announce the appointment of election mission quoted yhe High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini as saying:

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“As Africa’s largest economy and a key political and economic player in West Africa, Nigeria is an important partner for the EU.

“The EU is committed to support Nigeria’s path towards stronger democracy and further political stability, building on the 2015 general elections. I am confident that the deployment of an EU EOM under the leadership of Chief Observer Maria Arena, will contribute to an inclusive and transparent electoral process.”

In her response to her apointment, the Chief Observer, Maria Arena, said: “It is a great honour for me to lead this important EU Election Observation Mission to Nigeria. I am hopeful that our observation will provide a meaningful contribution to the electoral and democratic process in Nigeria.”

PREMIUM TIMES gathered the Election Observer Mission’s Core Team consists of eleven EU election analysts, who arrived Nigeria since January 4 and will stay in the country until the completion of the electoral process.

Later in January, the Core Team is expected to be joined by 40 long-term observers who will be deployed across the country.

“The European Union’s Election Observer Mission looks forward to cooperating with other international and domestic observation missions”, the EU said in its statement.

The EU said shortly after both election days, the mission will issue preliminary statements at press conferences in Abuja.

A final report, including recommendations for future electoral processes, will be presented at a later stage, after the finalisation of the electoral process,” the statement said.

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