Ekiti, Nigeria – A Pre-Election Assessment Mission (PEAM) deployed to Ekiti State today to watch the voting process for the state’s gubernatorial elections on July 14, 2018. The PEAM, jointly led by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI), will evaluate Nigeria’s preparations for the 2019 general elections. The high-level delegation arrived in Nigeria on July 12 and will present findings and recommendations from its assessment at a press conference in Abuja on July 20, 2018.
The delegation will meet with the Independent National Electoral Commission, ruling and opposition political parties, opinion leaders, citizen observer groups, and civil society organizations in Ekiti State and Abuja.
The PEAM delegation is led by Dr. Pauline Baker, president emeritus of the Fund for Peace (USA) and a renowned scholar of Nigerian politics. Earlier in her career, Dr. Baker lived in Nigeria for 11 years and taught political science for seven years at the University of Lagos. She has served as an election observer in five Nigerian elections since the return to democratic rule in 1999.
“Our primary mission in Nigeria is to examine preparations for general elections next year,” said Dr. Baker. “The Ekiti gubernatorial election may provide an early indication of the state of Nigeria’s election process at this time.”
The delegation will include Lauren Blanchard, specialist in African Affairs, U.S. Congressional Research Service (USA); Christopher Fomunyoh, senior associate and regional director for Central and West Africa, NDI (Cameroon); Jan Surotchak, regional director for Europe, IRI (USA); and Terry Tselane, vice chairperson, Electoral Commission of South Africa (South Africa).
IRI and NDI will conduct a second PEAM to Nigeria in September 2018 to correspond with the gubernatorial election in Osun State, and will jointly deploy international observers for national elections scheduled to take place in February and March 2019.
IRI and NDI have organized more than 200 international election observation missions around the globe, earning a reputation for impartiality and professionalism. The joint IRI-NDI mission to Nigeria will conduct its activities in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct adopted by the United Nations in 2005, and will base its findings and recommendations on Nigerian laws and on international standards for elections. All activities will be conducted on a strictly nonpartisan basis and without interfering in the election process.
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (local news)