We have no interest in who wins 2019 elections – EU observers | Dailytrust

We have no interest in who wins 2019 elections – EU observers

From right: Chief Observer, European Union Election Observation Mission Nigeria 2019, Maria Arena; Head of Delegation, European Union Delegation to the Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States, Ketil Karlsen and other Delegation during their visit to INEC on 2019 general election held at the Commission in Abuja. 21 Jan 2019. Photo: Felix Onigbinde
From right: Chief Observer, European Union Election Observation Mission Nigeria 2019, Maria Arena; Head of Delegation, European Union Delegation to the Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States, Ketil Karlsen and other Delegation during their visit to INEC on 2019 general election held at the Commission in Abuja. 21 Jan 2019. Photo: Felix Onigbinde

The European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria on Tuesday said it has no interest in seeing a particular candidate or party wins the general elections.

The Chief Observer, Maria Arena, told newsmen at a press conference in Abuja that the mission’s mandate was only to collect information concerning the electoral process and make recommendations.

She said, “We are not interested in the outcome of the elections; we have no interest in seeing this or that candidate or party win. We are here to observe if the electoral process was conducted in a transparent and credible manner.

“We are completely independent in our conclusions. We are independent from the EU Delegation, EU member states and all EU institutions. We come as a fresh pair of eyes, looking just at the election process.”

Arena said the mission’s observers abide by a Code of Conduct, which insists “we maintain strict neutrality in the course of our work, and we do not interfere in the election process.”

“We will assess the electoral process against Nigeria’s law and international commitments in relation to democratic elections,” she added.

Ms. Arena stressed the importance of transparency and accountability at all stages of the electoral process.

“These elections are an opportunity for Nigeria to build on what was achieved in 2015 and to further strengthen the country’s democracy,” she said.

“Transparency and accountability of all the institutions involved are essential for public trust and confidence in the process.

“INEC and the security forces need to be seen to work neutrally in all their actions from the leadership down.

“Further, I hope that state bodies and political parties all play their part in promoting a fair and peaceful process before, during and after election day,” she added.

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