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Nigerian voters are better prepared than in 2007

Abuja — The Chief Observer, European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) Alojz Peterle, said yesterday that Nigerian voters are now better prepared than in 2007 to exercise their franchise.

Perterle told newsmen in Abuja that  95 per cent of the “observation units” were found to be functional and noted that INEC tried to follow election processes before, during and after the elections.

He, however, said that there was room for improvement in the remaining  polls and further said that the expected huge turnout of voters might bring about additional technical processes.

Perterle said that EU EOM had cooperated with AU and ECOWAS observation teams  to issue joint declarations on the importance of the Nigerian election  to the sub-region.

“The delegation met with traditional, religious and political leaders as well as civil society organisations to get deeper insight in what is being done.’’

On Monday  a preliminary report will be issued while a final report will be out in three months time,” the chief observer added.

On the modified open ballot system, Perterle said that under the system it would be difficult to have multiple voting while the process had shown some level of  transparency.

“We consider Nigeria an important partner. We came on invitation as we will not impose ourselves on any country. Stability in a democratic term makes change possible through peaceful means unlike stability in a totalitarian  regime,” he said.

In her contribution,  a member of European Parliament from Bulgaria, Mariya Nedelchev said that strengthening  democracy in Nigeria should be the focus in strengthening democracy on the continent.

She said that the motto of EU was “United in Diversity” and expressed the conviction that Nigeria should apply that in its political diversity.

“We want to see that in Nigeria’s economic growth and social welfare of the population. We wish that election would be a step forward for the country. Peaceful atmosphere should prevail tomorrow and a week later,” she added.


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