BY INALEGWU SHAIBU
Senate President, David Mark, has warned the European Union, EU, and other international observers monitoring the 2011 general polls in the country not to interfere in the electoral process.
Sen Mark, who gave the warning while meeting with Head of the EU observation mission and former Prime Minister of Slovenia, Mr. Aloysius Peterle, stressed that elections in Nigeria would not be conducted based on the template set by the EU.
He was quoted in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Paul Mumeh, as saying “we appreciated the support of the EU and other donor agencies towards the success of the elections in Nigeria, but the international agencies should not set a template on how the exercise should or should not be.
“We appreciate your positive contributions but any support that would not be positive towards the success of the election is not needed.”
Senator Mark noted that every democracy had its own peculiarities according to the tradition and culture of the people, which ought to be respected by the international observers, adding that Nigeria was no different.
Earlier, Mr. Peterle, who submitted the preliminary report of the EU to the Senate President, described last weekend’s National Assembly elections as highly impressive.
He said: “The report was based on genuine direct observations and interviews. We do not report based on hear-say or rumour, we reported based on verifiable facts.”
Mr. Peterle also commended the Nigerian electorate, noting that the success was recorded because of their patience and commitment to genuine democracy.
He, however, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to improve on logistics which he said constituted some hitches in the conduct of the election.