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INTERNATIONAL BODIES ENCOURAGES TRANSPARENT CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS

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International communities have called for transparent campaigns and also urged the electorate to exercise their democratic right by vote during the forthcoming general election.

“At the beginning of the 2019 electoral campaign, we would like to reiterate our strong commitment to support democracy in Nigeria. As friends of Nigeria and its people, we will follow the campaigns and election process closely”.

“Who wins the elections is for the Nigerian people to decide. Our concern is to see a process leading to free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections.

“We hope to see transparent campaigns and we urge all voters to use their democratic right and vote. We are particularly keen to see greater participation of women, youth and people living with disabilities.”

They expressed concerns over widespread incidents of intimidation, interference and vote-buying during the recent governorship elections and irregularities and violence during party primaries.

They further urged all political and non-political actors to refrain from using hate speech and to take a firm stance against violence.

“The 2015 Peace Accords played an important role in that regard and we welcome new efforts towards that end.”

They reiterated the importance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as it fulfils its constitutional role.

“INEC must be allowed to operate free from outside pressure and intimidation, and in turn must demonstrate full neutrality and professionalism.

“We encourage that adequate funding is swiftly facilitated for INEC and supporting institutions, and we hope to see the entry into force of improvements to the Electoral Act as soon as possible.”

They urged security agencies to provide a safe and secure environment in an impartial manner for Nigerians to exercise their democratic rights.

“We strongly support the principle of media freedom and the vital role the independent media plays in ensuring informed public debate.

“We also stress the importance of balanced, neutral and non-defamatory coverage.”

 

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