eu observerABUJA – The European Union said that it had deployed an Election Observation Mission for the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria.
A statement signed by the Press Officer of the mission, Eberhard Laue, said that the EU group would be headed by Santiago Ayxela.
It said that Ayxela, who is a member of the European Parliament, and from Spain, would arrive in Abuja before January 25.
“A delegation from the European Parliament and EU diplomats in Nigeria will also join the mission on election days,’’ the statement said.
It added that the EU EOM’s presence was an indication of its commitment to the conduct of inclusive, transparent and credible elections in Nigeria.
The statement quoted Ayzela as saying, “we don’t just focus on the election days, but on all aspects of the electoral process, including the arbitration of petitions long after voting is finished”.
It added that the mission would conduct a comprehensive analysis of the entire electoral process.
“This will include assessing the legal framework, the performance of the election administration, voter registration, candidates’ nomination and political parties’ primaries.
“This also includes campaign activities, respect for fundamental freedoms, access to and conduct of the media, voting and the counting, announcement and acceptance of results, and complaints and appeals.
“The EU EOM is bound by a code of conduct which requires strict neutrality and no interference in the process and undertakes all its work in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation,’’ it said.
It stated that the EU EOM would publish its initial findings in preliminary statements, which would be presented at press conferences, two days after an election day.
“A final report will be later published which will include recommendations for improvements for future elections,’’ it added