The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM), has called for an inclusive national discussion on reform for greater electoral integrity and participation.
The Mission observed that the just concluded governorship, state assembly and local government elections were marked by an overall low turnout, lack of transparency, incumbency advantage and a troubling electoral security environment, which calls for for an inclusive national discussion on electoral reform.
The EU EOM stated this at Abuja on Monday 11, March 2019 during a media chat on the assessment of the governorship and assembly elections.EU chief observer, Maria Arena stated in her presentation that ” on election day, polling procedures were accessed more positively by the EU observers compared to the 23rd February election”.
However, the EU EOM condemned the violence and intimidation against election officials and voters, especially where security forces obstructed observer access to some collation centres in Rivers state. She further stated that though the elections were competitive with freedom to campaign. However, there was overall misuse of incumbency, including on state -owned state media, which prevented a level playing field. “All the problems evident in the 2019 electoral process showed the need for an inclusive national discussion on reform for greater electoral integrity and participation” she said.
The mission emphasized on the training of collation staffs, improved data management, and adequate information from INEC.