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Nigerian Elections Disappointing, INEC Lacked Transparency — International Observers

International Observers Deliver Verdict: Nigerian Elections Disappointing, INEC Lacked Transparency.



Nigerian Elections Disappointing, INEC Lacked Transparency — International Observers

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International observers have delivered their preliminary report on Nigeria’s Presidential and National Assembly elections. The joint delegation from the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) expressed concerns over the transparency of the process, noting that the election fell well short of Nigerian citizens’ reasonable expectations.

Speaking in Abuja, the leader of the delegation, Dr. Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi, praised the resilience and enthusiasm of Nigerian voters. However, she also highlighted logistical challenges and incidents of political violence that overshadowed the electoral process and impeded a substantial number of voters from participating.

The observers confirmed that currency and fuel shortages imposed excessive burdens on voters and election officials, and marginalized groups, especially women, continue to face barriers to seeking and obtaining political office. The delegation also noted that the late opening of polling locations and logistical failures created tensions and compromised the secrecy of the ballot in some polling units.

Banda stated that challenges with the electronic transfer of results and their upload to a public portal in a timely manner undermined citizen confidence at a crucial moment of the process. She also criticized the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for inadequate communication and lack of transparency about their cause and extent, which created confusion and eroded voters’ trust in the process.

The statement from the observers commended INEC for conducting the general elections according to the electoral calendar for the first time in the country’s recent history. However, the joint delegation’s report suggests that much remains to be done to improve the electoral process in Nigeria and ensure transparency, fair play, and citizen confidence.

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