How to Improve 2023 Polls, by INEC

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How to Improve 2023 Polls, by INEC

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has listed measures that need to be taken to strengthen the electoral process.

This followed the conclusion of the review of the 2019 general elections.

In its final report on the 2019 polls presented last week, the commission recommended the review of the process of voter registration and collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) to make them more voter-friendly.

It also sought “more effective ways to curb impunity in the electoral process, monitor political parties, including the enforcement of limits on party financial contributions and expenditure, as well as prosecute election offenders”.

The report reads: “The 2019 general election, comprising of the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 23, 2019, the Governorship, State Houses of Assembly and FCT Area Council elections on March 9, 2019 and supplementary elections on March 23, 2020, where results could not be declared at first ballot for sundry reasons, was the fifth general election since Nigeria’s return to democratic civil rule in May 1999.

“The election was originally scheduled to commence with the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 16, 2019 and the Governorship, State Houses of Assembly and FCT Area Council Elections on March 2, 2019, but the commission was compelled to postpone it by a week as a result of operational and logistics challenges.

“The successful conduct of the election marked 20 years of unbroken and continuous civilian democratic rule since the country’s independence in 1960.

“In this sense, it was a significant and noteworthy development in Nigeria’s electoral and political history dating back to the first elections to the Legislative Council in 1923. The 2019 General Election was also remarkable as the largest set of elections ever undertaken by an electoral commission in the country’s electoral history.

“The election was contested by 24,353 candidates nominated by 91 political parties in 1,558 constituencies nationwide with a voter population of 84,004,084 spread across 119,973 polling units across the country.

“It was, in short, a massive undertaking, which required and involved the hugely taxing deployment of over 500 tonnes of election materials and over 800,000 election personnel nationwide over difficult topographical terrain and a political economy suffering from deep capacity and resource deficits.

“This report provides an account of the commission’s strategic approach towards navigating the mined waters of the daunting challenges to deliver by and large a successful general election.

“Preparations for the 2019 general election began early in 2016 with the review of the commission’s 2012-2016 SP/SPA and the 2015 EPP and the formulation of the 2017-2021 SP/SPA and the formulation of the 2019 Election Project Plan, which provided a comprehensive and in-depth project planning for the elections.”

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