Presidential, NASS polls: YIAGA rates INEC, political parties in Kogi

Ahead of the Kogi gubernatorial polls, YIAGA Africa has observed some lapses in the design, communication and lack of uniformity in the implementation of the guidelines issued by the electoral commission. 

The group also scored the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and political parties that participated low over poor conduct.

The Co-Chairman, YIAGA Africa, Dr Husseini Abdu, while briefing newsmen in Abuja, said there was no clarity on who reserves the authority to cancel ballots and the levels where cancellation will take place.

He said the unclear electoral rules, weak oversight and INEC issued guidelines to improve the integrity of the electoral process and inspire confidence in electoral stakeholders. 

According to him, INEC insisted on the use of smart card reader for voter accreditation to eliminate multiple voting and voting by proxy. 
He said the Commission also insisted on the display of polling unit results using the Form EC 60 E (The People’s Results sheet).

According to Abdu, the elections were marred by various irregularities including delayed, ad-hoc officials recruitment and training; lack of effective planning, poor INEC constituted leadership; the president’s delay in appointing national commissioners; INEC’s overestimated own capabilities and underrated challenges; discrepancy between registered voters as announced before the election and during collation; deliberate flouting of party guidelines, constitutions, INEC guidelines on party primaries and Electoral Act by political parties. 

He said, “In 97% of sampled polling units in the Presidential elections, no individual was permitted to vote if their names did not appear on the register of voters while in 7% of polling units the Smart Card Readers was not used throughout for the accreditation of voters.”

He said YIAGA AFRICA WTV findings indicated that INEC Presiding Officers electronically transmitted the Presidential election results using the Smart Card Reader in 65% of polling units.  

He called on the security agencies to as a matter of urgency commence investigation and prosecution of electoral offenders especially for the violent disruption of the electoral process which led to the death of some citizens.

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