EU EOM Preliminary Statement: Important step strengthening democratic elections but challenges remain

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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ABUJA, 18 April - “The presidential elections last Saturday mark an important step strengthening democratic elections in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, challenges remain”ʼ said Alojz Peterle, Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) on Monday at the presentation of the Preliminary Statement of the EU EOM in Abuja.

Mariya Nedelcheva, the Head of the four member strong Delegation of the European Parliament, which joined the EU EOM shortly before the presidential elections added: “Saturdayʼs elections are a convincing proof that the Nigerian authorities, institutions and electorate are determined to remain owners of their destiny and to run even better elections in the future”.

Peterle noted “substantial improvements compared to the National Assembly Elections”. He further said: “According to the findings of our 141 Observers almost all Polling Units opened timely, the atmosphere was predominantly peaceful and calm. Logistics, organisation of accreditation and counting was improved in most locations. However, shortcomings during voting were observed. Notably inconsistent implementation of procedures and attempts to influence voters were seen. These can have negative impact on the trust of voters in the integrity of the electoral process.”

The European Union Election Observation Mission will present all of its findings at a later stage in a final report reflecting a comprehensive analysis some months after the polls.

The Chief Observer encouraged voters to remain confident in the electoral process also during the polls to be held in the next weeks. These elections will be also observed by the EU EOM. “We call upon the people of Nigeria, the candidates and political parties as well as all other stakeholders in the elections to maintain a peaceful and positive atmosphere and not to allow any intimidation.”

Note to Editors:

Mission observes all aspects of the electoral process, prior, during and after election days. The EU EOM is independent from any EU institutions or member states and is obliged to remain neutral and abide by the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct, as well as Nigerian laws.

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