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Nigeria receives an EU Election Observation Mission

In response to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) invitation, the European Union (EU) has chosen to send an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) to monitor the general elections set for February 25 and March 11, 2023.

According to a statement released on Wednesday, Josep Borrell, the Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has appointed Barry Andrews, a Member of the European Parliament, as the Chief Observer for the Election Observation Mission to Nigeria. The EU had previously sent election observation missions to Nigeria for the 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019 elections.

According to a quotation in the statement from High Representative and Vice-President Josep Borrell, “These elections will be vital for the strengthening of democracy in Nigeria and for the stability of the region. The EU has sent an election observation mission to Nigeria six times, demonstrating our commitment to collaborating to strengthen democracy there. The elections will take place in a difficult security environment and are expected to be competitive. We aspire for Nigerians to be able to vote in a peaceful environment and for any difficulties or disagreements to be resolved amicably or via the legal means that are available.

“I am very grateful to have been given the task of leading this EU Election Observation Mission,” stated Chief Observer Barry Andrews. The mission is taking place as democracies all around the world see a decline. Therefore, not only are the upcoming general elections significant for Nigeria’s democratic growth but also for the future of democracy in West Africa and the entire continent. Meeting with electoral players who are crucial to the continuing electoral process is something I am looking forward to.

The EU EOM will, according to the statement, offer a thorough, objective, and independent evaluation of the voting process based on global and regional norms for democratic elections.

Eleven election specialists who make up the Core Team of the EU EOM will travel to Abuja in the first half of January. 40 long-term observers will join the operation toward the end of January and be dispersed all over the nation to monitor the election process. Following that, on election day, the mission will be strengthened by short-term observers from the EU diplomatic community as well as Canada, Norway, and Switzerland.

Until the conclusion of the election, the EU EOM will stay in the nation.

Following election day, the mission will produce a preliminary statement and hold a news conference in Abuja in accordance with the EU election observation procedures. After the conclusion of the entire electoral process, the final report—which contains a list of suggestions for future elections—will be made public.

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