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INEC: 2023 general election one of the best planned polls in history

INEC: 2023 general election one of the best planned polls in history
February 23
21:06 2024

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the 2023 general election was one of the best it has organised.

In a report released on Friday on the 2023 general election, INEC said leveraging on well-set practices in place since the 1999 general election, it started planning for the 2023 polls in earnest in 2019.

“The 2023 General Election was one of the, if not the best, planned election in the history of the Commission,” the report reads.

“Drawing on the EMSC’s three monitoring zones – Green, Amber and Red – planning for 2023 began immediately after 2019 through the implementation of some of the monitoring mechanisms such as process reviews and stakeholder engagements, electoral materials audit, identification and sorting of reusable election materials, assessment of storage facilities, assessment of electoral materials requirements for the 2023 General Election, the review and formulation of planning documents, and the review of regulations/guidelines/manuals and related operational documents for elections.”

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The commission said the legal framework for the 2023 general election played a significant role in ensuring the integrity, transparency, and credibility of the process.

“Passed into law on the 25th of February 2022, the Electoral Act 2022, not only provided an enhanced electoral legal framework for conduct of election in Nigeria, but also sought to address several lingering challenges to the management of the entire electoral process identified by the Commission and other stakeholders,” the report added.

“The New Act introduced about 80 new provisions addressing wide ranging issues such as the independence of the Commission, the time-frame for the publication of notice of elections, the conduct and management of political party primaries and campaigns, the development and management of electronic databases for the register of voters as well as for election results, the power of reviewing election results and declarations by the Commission, clarification of the meaning of over-voting, the involvement of political appointees in partisan politics, the death of candidates in the middle of an election, the deployment of election technology, as well as the management of results, to mention but a few.

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“To appreciate the far-reaching contributions of the 2022 Act, it is important to briefly recount the 2010 legal framework and some of its constraints.

“The Electoral Act of 2010 was the governing law for elections in Nigeria from 2010 to 2022. It was a significant piece of legislation that introduced several reforms into the electoral process, including provisions on funding, independence of the Commission, conduct of political party nomination processes and election campaigns amongst others.

“The 2010 Electoral Act was amended about five times by the 6th National Assembly to enable the Commission to conduct a fresh voter registration exercise as well as the General Election in February and March of 2011.

“However, since the 2011 General Election, the Commission and other stakeholders in the political and electoral processes have identified several gaps and challenges in the 2010 Act that needed to be addressed to enhance the credibility, transparency, and inclusivity of elections.

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“The Commission then made comprehensive submissions to both the 7th and 8th National Assemblies for the reform of the legal framework.

“These reforms were not effected during the 2011-2015 and 2015-2019 Electoral Cycles. It was only during the 2019-2023 Electoral Cycle that some of these suggestions for reform were incorporated into the existing legal framework as the new 2022 Electoral Act.”

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