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YIAGA rates Edo election better than those of Kogi, Bayelsa

YIAGA rates Edo election better than those of Kogi, Bayelsa
September 20
20:23 2020

YIAGA Africa, a non-profit organisation, says the Edo governorship election is an improvement on the Kogi and Bayelsa polls that took place in 2019.

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The group disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Benin, the Edo capital.

While commending the people of Edo state for maintaining peaceful conduct throughout the exercise, the group called for deliberate efforts on the part of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to address challenges regarding logistics in future elections.

“Yiaga Africa notes that the Edo governorship election is an improvement on Kogi and Bayelsa 2019 governorship elections and recommends the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) take all necessary steps to address challenges seen in the election before the Ondo state governorship election on October 10, 2020,2 the statement read.

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“Yiaga Africa encourages INEC to address logistical challenges observed relating to late commencement of polls for the upcoming gubernatorial election in Ondo. In addition, INEC should ensure it enforces adherence to the COVID-19 health protocols in the Ondo election.

“The national assembly should accelerate reforms to the electoral act to legalize electronic transmission of results as the INEC results viewing portal deployed for the election has demonstrated how citizens’ access to polling unit results increases the integrity of the electoral process and encourages acceptability of electoral outcomes.”

The group also said it observed intimidation and harassment of international and national observers, voters and election officials by party thugs, which led to violent disruption of the voting process in some polling units.

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According to the statement, the group said although harassment was reported in only four percent of polling units during counting, it confirmed 23 critical incident reports which captured instances of infractions that could undermine the electoral process.

“These incidents include violent disruption, ballot box snatching, vote buying, sporadic shootings, etc. While these incidents are serious and must be addressed by INEC and other stakeholders, they did not occur at levels and rates that would substantially undermine the integrity of the overall electoral process or the results due to the large margin between the contestants,” the group added.

YIAGA Africa said the INEC official result for the election was consistent with its estimate, adding that the counting process at polling units was transparent.

The group called on security agencies to remain non-partisan and professional during the October 10 Ondo governorship election, as they did in Edo state.

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