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INEC rates observers' reports on 2011 elections high

28 July 2015, 19:10

Abuja - The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday rated Election Observers’ report on 2011 polls high, saying it guided it in conducting 2015 elections.

Acting Chairman of the commission, Hajia Amina Zakari, made this known at "Post Election Lesson Learnt’’ workshop organised by INEC in collaboration with accredited election observer groups in Abuja.

Zakari, who was represented by Mr Lawrence Nwuruku, a National Commissioner in the commission, said that involvement of observer groups in elections in the country often added value to the commission’s work.

According to her, the participation of observer groups in elections always provided INEC with dispassionate and critical assessments of the electoral process.

"Observers report on the 2011 general elections were like guide book for the commission’s preparations for the 2015 general elections.

"The business of election observation, no doubt, is a critical one that requires professionalism,’’ she stated.

Also read: INEC denies releasing voters' registers to state electoral body

The chairman said that since 2011, INEC had enjoyed cordial relationship with domestic and foreign election observer groups, pointing out that three factors helped the commission to shape it relationship with the groups.

She listed the factors as "transparent procedure for selecting observer groups; development of comprehensive guideline for election observation, based on global norms and standards, and establishment of INEC Situation Room.

"The real time reports of events in the field to the situation room and the use of social media and the rapid intervention of the commission when necessary have improved the quality of electoral process.

"They have also improved the confidence between observers and the commission, especially during the 2015 general elections,’’ she said.

She, however, indentified the reduction in the number of field observers deployed by accredited observer groups during the 2015 election as one of the fallouts of security situation in the country, especially at the North-East.

Earlier, Amb. Muhammed Wali, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Election and Party Monitoring Committee (EPMC) of the commission, disclosed that only 50 out of 108 accredited domestic observer groups had submitted reports on 2015 polls.

"This is not good enough and I expect that the remaining groups should ensure that their reports are submitted to the commission and also make their contribution’s as we share our experiences in the workshop,’’ Wali said.

He said that the workshop was organised for the observers to share their experiences, including challenges, "and lessons learnt during the 2015 general elections and the way forward for future elections’’.

"The outcome of this workshop will be factored into Kogi and Bayelsa Governorship elections scheduled for November and December’, 2015,’’ he added.



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