2015 elec­tions will meet in­ter­na­tional stan­dards –Jega

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Mis­bahu Bashir, Kaduna

Chair­man of the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (INEC) Pro­fes­sor At­tahiru Jega yes­ter­day said uni­ver­sally ac­cepted stan­dards for demo­cratic elec­tions will be ad­hered to dur­ing the 2015 elec­tions.

Jega, who spoke dur­ing the “INEC-State In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (SIEC) ex­pe­ri­ence shar­ing” con­fer­ence in Kaduna said he was con­fi­dent that the 2015 elec­tions will be bet­ter than pre­vi­ous elec­tions and that they will be ac­cepted by in­ter­na­tional ob­servers.

He said the com­mis­sion has been proac­tive in putting to­gether strate­gies that will guar­an­tee free and fair elec­tions in­clud­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of gen­uine elec­tion man­age­ment sys­tem, bet­ter elec­tion strate­gies as well as mak­ing con­sul­ta­tions with stake­hold­ers.

“2015 elec­tion will be much bet­ter in terms of com­ply­ing with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. It will be bet­ter than the 2011 elec­tion not just on elec­tion-to-elec­tion ba­sis,” he said.

He said the com­mis­sion will en­sure gen­der eq­uity and com­pli­ance in all its ac­tiv­i­ties, pru­dence in con­tin­u­ous up­date of voter reg­is­ter as well as re-de­lin­eation of elec­toral con­stituen­cies. There are close to 120,000 polling units in the coun­try and we be­lieve there should be more units to de­con­gest those that are more prob­lem­atic to man­age,” he said.

He said democ­racy can only flour­ish if cred­i­ble lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions are con­ducted, adding: “We can­not build democ­racy na­tion­ally if there is no foun­da­tion at the grass­roots”.

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