Will Democracy Prevail? INEC Extends Olive Branch to Civil Society for Upcoming Elections

Will Democracy Prevail? INEC Extends Olive Branch to Civil Society for Upcoming Elections

INEC Invites Civil Society Organizations for Election Monitoring in February Re-run and By-elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended an invitation to civil society organisations (CSOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to actively participate in monitoring the upcoming February re-run and by-elections.

This move aims to enhance transparency and accountability in the electoral process.

Application Procedure and Deadline:

Interested parties are urged to submit their applications through an online portal by January 17, as outlined in a notice by Hauwa Habib, the acting Director of Electoral Party Monitoring (EPM) at INEC, based in Abuja.

The application process is exclusively online, with the designated application form (EC14A(l)) being the sole accepted method.

Emphasis on Accuracy and Legitimacy:

Habib underscored the importance of accuracy in submissions, stating that all required information, including legal status, evidence of registration with the Civil Society Desk at INEC-Headquarters, and past election observation history, must accompany the application.

Any falsification of documents will result in automatic disqualification and potential legal consequences.

Publication of Successful Observer Groups:

The list of successful observer groups approved for accreditation will be made public on the commission’s website and the EPM observer’s WhatsApp platform.

This transparency ensures that the public is informed about the organizations that will be actively monitoring the elections.

Background and Scope of Elections:

Habib provided context to the upcoming elections, stating that they involve two senatorial districts, four federal constituencies, and three state constituencies across nine states of the Federation.

These elections were prompted by directives from various election petition appeal tribunals following the 2023 general elections.

Simultaneous Elections and Date:

A total of 35 constituencies are affected by these court-ordered elections, with some covering entire constituencies and others involving specific polling units.

Both categories of elections are scheduled to take place simultaneously in all affected constituencies on Saturday, February 3.

Conclusion:

INEC’s proactive approach in inviting CSOs and NGOs for election monitoring underscores the commitment to fair and transparent electoral processes.

The stringent application process and emphasis on accuracy aim to ensure the credibility of the monitoring initiative.

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