UN to assist INEC on electoral reform ahead of future polls

    0
    1

    The United Nations (UN) has offered to assist Nigeria in its efforts to reform its electoral process.

    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently proposed to open up dialogue on the country’s electoral process to seek means of tackling some challenges that arose in this year’s general polls.

    Announcing UN interest in assisting the country, Mr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, also decried the number of political parties in the country.

    Chambas spoke yesterday in Abuja, the nation’s capital, in an audience with the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC management at the commission’s headquarters.

    The special representative noted that the planned dialogue is a step in the right direction, adding that a stable Nigeria is best for the region and the African continent.

    He said: “We have come as part of the constant relationship that UN enjoys with INEC. I think this visit is to make the point that the UN relationship is not only during election time; we have an ongoing institutional relationship with INEC. We are interested in the welfare of INEC during election seasons and off-election seasons.

    “We want to use this visit to renew and reiterate that the UN wishes to strengthen that relationship and be part of the post-election review, the conversation which has already been launched by the chairman of INEC.

    “I want to say this is a step in the right direction. During electoral process, Nigerians, several civil society organisations (CSOs) and international observer missions submitted several reports. At the end of the day, it is our understanding that INEC is taking all of these very serious. And the INEC chairman has said he wants to engage in a structured conversation again to address some of these challenges, which were faced during last elections…”

    Yakubu said the commission will be done with the current review of this year’s general elections in the next two months.

    “We hope to conclude the ongoing review of the 2019 general elections in the next two months. These reviews have become standard practice by the commission, and they involve all stakeholders across the electoral process.

    “Consequently, we have commenced debriefings with all our field workers to learn from them the successes and challenges we all faced in the planning and implementation of the general elections. We will also hold extensive meetings with political patties, the civil society, security agencies, the media as well as other stakeholders as part of the Commission‘s commitment to the continuous improvement of the electoral process in Nigeria.”