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EU deploys 52 observers to Nigeria for April polls

Abuja  The EU Election Observation Mission to Nigeria in Abuja on Saturday deployed 52 Long Term Observers (LTOs) for the April elections and plans to  conduct a comprehensive analysis on the  electoral process.

The Deputy Chief Observer of the Mission, Mr Riccardo Barranca, said during the formal deployment of the LTOs to different parts of Nigeria that the analysis would be based on a methodology developed by the EU over time.

He said that the analysis would include aspects, such as legal framework, election administration, campaign activities, political parties and the conduct of the media.

He said it would also include collation, voting and vote counting as well as complaints that might arise from the elections, appeal processes and the announcement of election results.

Barranca said that the group would observe the electoral process in the rural and urban areas.

“The LTOs will cover the entire country, including both urban and rural areas.

“They will observe the entire electoral process prior, during and after the elections for National Assembly, president, governors and state houses scheduled 2, 9 and 16 April.

“The LTOs will be meeting government and electoral officials, candidates and representatives from political parties, civil society and the media,” he said.

Barranca said the group was the first batch to be deployed and would be joined at a later date by another group of 60 Short Term Observers (STOs) before the general elections in April.

He said that the observers, who would be coming from 27 EU member states, including Norway and Switzerland. would also be joined by delegates from the European Parliament.

He said that the mission would issue a preliminary statement shortly after the elections, while a final report with a technical recommendation for future elections would be published subsequently.

The goal of the mission is to assist partner countries in their objectives to hold high standard elections and to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process while providing an impartial and informed assessment of elections (NAN)

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