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EU observers release final report on 2019 elections, note major issues but conclude it was an improvement on 2015

'BODY BAGS': EU replies El-Rufai

The European Union Election Observation Mission has released its final report on the 2019 general election.

In the report which was made public on Saturday, the EU EOM noted the 2019 elections won by President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) was an improvement on the 2015 elections but was still not without its many challenges.

The EU said the election was not transparent and was marred by violence, voter intimidation and harassment.

Chief observer and leader of the mission, Marie Arena, while presenting the report, said that Nigeria made significant improvements in 2019 from previous elections it held.

Arena stated that the EU EOM had 91 observers on ground for the Presidential and National Assembly elections across Nigeria.

She added that 73 observers were deployed for the Governorship and State House of Assembly election while only 20 observers were used for the supplementary elections.

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Arena said from cross-references, it was noted that 150 people were killed during the election.

“The elections became increasingly marred by violence and intimidation, with the role of the security agencies becoming more contentious as the process progressed”, the report said.

Following its observation mission, she said the EU EOM had 30 recommendations on how to improve future electoral processes in Nigeria.

“The mission concluded that the systemic failings seen in the elections, and the relatively low levels of voter participation, show the need for fundamental electoral reform.”

The EU report prioritized seven recommendations of the 30, one of which was that Nigeria, “Strengthen INEC procedures for the collation of results to improve integrity and confidence in electoral outcomes.”

Another recommendation was that, “Electoral tribunals cover pre-election cases in order to improve access to remedy and to avoid petitions being taken to different courts at the same time.”

Meanwhile, the deputy chief observer for the EU Mission, Hannah Roberts, has said that the mission knows nothing about servers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that were allegedly used to transmit results of the 2019 general elections.

She made this comment while speaking at a press conference on the EU election observation mission report held at the Transcorp Hilton on Saturday.

Hannah Roberts said the Mission relied on results that were released by INEC.

“The EU had to rely on INEC’s explanation in result transmission,” she said while answering the question on INEC server.

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