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2019 elections: EU submits findings report to INEC

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The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) on Friday submitted its findings and recommendations on the 2019 general elections to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

EU Chief Observer, Maria Arena, while submitting the report to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in Abuja, said that the union would on Saturday make public the report of its monitoring of the elections.

Arena who did not disclose the content of the report, said that the submission would be made open to journalists and members of the public to seek clarifications on the issues raised in the report.

The EU chief observer said that the union had been part of Nigeria’s electoral process since 1999.

The union deployed 73 observers to 223 polling units and 81 collation centres in 22 states for the 2019 general elections. Receiving the report, INEC chairman also noted that EU had been part of Nigeria’s steady progress towards democratic consolidation since 1999.

Yakubu said that the commission had adopted the EU recommendations on previous elections. He said the recommendations included simultaneous accreditation and voting processes on election day, adding that it was first used for the 2015 Bayelsa governorship election and subsequent elections in the country.

He said the observations and recommendations of the EU election observation mission to the 2015 general elections were particularly useful. Yakubu said the recommendations were used for the design of some important proposals for reforming the electoral legal framework and in improving the electoral processes and procedures. The INEC chairman pledged that the commission would look into the recommendations of the report.

He gave the assurance that the recommendations on 2019 elections would form the benchmarks in the reform to be submitted to the National Assembly.

“Every election in any democracy around the world is work in progress. We therefore look forward to the full EU EOM report and recommendations on the elections.

“We are confident that there will be useful lessons for the commission as we prepare for future elections. “Indeed, the report is coming at the right time as it will feed into our ongoing review of the conduct of the elections.

“Let me assure you that the commission will again quickly focus attention on the electoral legal framework in addition to several other areas of reform.

“We will study in detail all your recommendations as part of our ongoing internal review of the 2019 general elections which we hope to conclude in the next two months,” he added. Yakubu commended the EU for its interest in Nigeria’s democratic processes.

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