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Electoral teams rate polls as free and fair

Two electoral monitoring teams, the Nigerian-based Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) and the US-based International Republican Institute (IRI), rated the local elections in Nigeria as generally credible.

The TMG report received by IRIN today said it had deployed more than 1,000 observers to monitor the elections nationwide and “noted some serious administrative lapses by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in its preparation for the elections”. It pointed to the lack of electoral material in certain polling booths, insufficient training of electoral officials, lateness of officials, lack of civic education and privacy in the voting, and the security situation. But despite the lapses, the elections were “credible” and the voter turnout was “reasonably impressive”. TMG is a coalition of 44 Nigerian human rights groups. IRI issued a preliminary statement saying that: “In the areas observed by the IRI observers teams, the elections were peaceful, voters were enthusiastic, efforts were made to observe election rules and procedures, and the tabulation of votes was consistent with a transparent vote”. However, it cautioned that improvements had to be made for forthcoming state elections the next step on the way to the transition to civilian rule.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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