CREDIBILITY OF FOREIGN ELECTORAL OBSERVERS IN 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
“Despite ongoing difficulties, millions of Nigerians cast ballots in the presidential, senate, and house of representatives elections. Barry Andrews remarked at a press conference in Abuja today, “I appreciate the perseverance of voters as well as the devotion of youth, who have greatly contributed to the democratic process.
Despite an extremely difficult climate, INEC managed to hold the elections on schedule. Throughout the planning stage, stakeholders generally voiced confidence in INEC’s independence and professionalism. Unfortunately, INEC’s ineffective planning during crucial phases and poor public relations efforts lowered confidence in the procedure, even on election day.
Election day was highlighted by late deployment and opening, and polling protocols weren’t always followed, according to the observations of EU EOM inspectors. In the majority of the polling locations we observed, the polling officials struggled to complete the result forms, which were not posted publicly. The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV) were introduced, and this was seen as a crucial step in ensuring the legitimacy and integrity of the elections. Unfortunately, using the BVAS to upload the results did not go as planned, and very late on election day, presidential election result forms began to emerge on the portal, creating questions.
In a fiercely contested race, the general elections gave voters a true choice of candidates. Political parties have, however, criticized the unequal campaigning conditions caused by meddling and a rise in violent crimes that have the ability to influence the elections and reduce voter turnout. With nearly 150,000 observers, civil society played an increasingly significant role in holding electoral institutions accountable, encouraging voter education, and mobilizing youth.
“The tabulation exercise is still going on, and we’re going to keep track of everything. Before and after the results are declared, I urge all parties to remain committed to a peaceful process. Every disagreement resulting from the electoral process need to be resolved by using recognized legal avenues, according to Barry Andrews.
The head of the European Parliament’s delegation, Ms. Evin Incir, stated: “I would like to voice my concern that less than 10% of candidates were female. The manifestos of Nigeria’s major political parties, which demand for affirmative action like quotas, should be taken into consideration by the future administration and parliament.
Notwithstanding obstacles, media provided thorough and mostly equitable coverage of the election. Social media sites were abused to propagate offensive material, and the safeguards put in place by those sites to preserve election integrity were insufficient. Positively, the pre-election information environment was protected by the cooperation of online and offline media, civil society, and fact-checkers.
The significance of international election observation and monitoring has grown over the past 10 years as democratic movements in Nigeria and other developing nations have expanded. Yet, it is true to say that election observation and monitoring have recently developed into a sort of “growth industry” (Geisla, 2023), notably in African nations that are changing from military or one-party dictatorship to multiparty democracy (Obi,2023).
This is true, especially in the developing African countries like those in Africa. But in addition to Africa, elections have also taken place in open and closed economies, developing and industrial civilizations, South America, and Asia. In fact, many well-known organizations have taken part in this practice, including the United Nations, the European Union, the Commonwealth, the Organization of American States, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States, as well as specific countries like the United States, France, and Britain. The Carter Center, the International Republican Institute, and Naps are a few such non-governmental organizations that have adopted this tactic.