The National Democratic Institute, NDI, and the International Republican Institute, IRI, have scored the 2019 general elections low, concluding that it fell below the standard set in 2015.
The two US based institutions stated this in their joint final reports on the 2019 general elections on Tuesday in Abuja, declaring that the elections “fell significantly” short of the standards set in 2015.
It would be recalled that the European Union Election Observation team on Nigeria and ECOWAS had earlier released its own report, saying the 2019 elections was an improvement on the 2015 elections.
The IRI/NDI report is a build up on the findings and recommendations of three pre-election assessment missions in July 2018, September 2018, and December 2018 and the preliminary statements released after the February 23, 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections and the March 9, 2019 gubernatorial and state House of Assembly elections.
The IRI/NDI mission, also noted in the report that it conducted its activities in accordance with Nigerian laws and the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation.
Declaring that the 2019 elections did not meet the expectations of many Nigerians, the NDI/IRI mission noted that the last-minute postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections on the morning of February 16 and delays in opening some polling units and other administrative challenges on February 23 undermined public confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
According to the mission, Nigeria conducted elections that were adjudged to have been free, fair and credible internationally in 2015,
Speaking at the presentation of the report, the President of the IRI, Dr. Daniel Twining said: “The 2019 general elections fell significantly short of standards set in 2015. Citizens’ confidence in elections was shaken.
“Election stakeholders should take concrete steps to address the concerns of citizens with regards to the polls in order to rekindle their faith in the power and possibility of credible elections.”
On his part, the NDI President, Ambassador Derek Mitchell said: “The 2019 elections highlighted for many Nigerians the need for a national conversation about the country’s democratization since the 1999 transition to civilian rule.
“We hope this report may both spur and contribute to enriching that national conversation.”
Though the EU EOM also expressed some reservations, the NDI/IRI report has substantially conradicted its reports.
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