European Union launches Election Observer Mission in Abuja
with Ogaga Ikogho
The European Union (EU) recently in Abuja launched the EU Election Observer Mission (EOM). The launch was done by Ms Maria Arena, Member of the EU Parliament, Brussels.
According to her, the purpose of the Mission is to “assess the electoral process against Nigeria’s laws and international commitments in relation to democratic elections.”
The team consisted of a team of 11 election experts to be based in Abuja and 40 experienced long-term observers, who were to be deployed all around the country to cover Nigeria’s 36 states.
Arena emphasized the importance of transparency and accountability at all stages of the electoral process, saying “these elections are an opportunity for Nigeria to build on what was achieved in 2015 and to further strengthen the country’s democracy.”
The EU has observed all general elections in Nigeria since 1999. The EOM is independent in its findings and conclusions. EU observers adhere to a strict code of conduct for international election
observation that requires they maintain strict neutrality and impartiality in the course of their work and not interfere in the electoral process.
After both election days, the Mission will issue a preliminary statement. A more comprehensive final report, including recommendations to improve future elections, will be published approximately two months after the end of the electoral process.
It will be noted that the EOM is in Nigeria in response to the invitation by the Nigerian Government.