2023 Elections: INEC lacks Transparency, says European Union
2023 Elections: INEC lacks Transparency, says European Union The European Union (EU) Election Observer has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of lacking transparency in the 2023 presidential election.
The international body stated this in a statement posted on its official website while giving updates on the elections, 48 hours after the exercise.
EU noted that lack of transparency in the Saturday’s general elections deflated public trust in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to the body, the confidence earlier had in INEC’s independence, professionalism and voter information efforts decreased even before February 25.
The EU, however, acknowledged that the election took place as planned, but operational failures, which it said challenged the right to vote, contributed to the reduced trust in the process.
It said the fuel scarcity and Naira crunch crises drastically affected INEC’s operational capacity, while insecurity and attacks in some local government areas hindered preparations and instilled fear in voters.
EU said, “Overall, INEC lacked efficient planning and transparency during critical stages of the electoral process, while on election day, trust in INEC was seen to further reduce due to delayed polling processes and information gaps related to much anticipated access to results on its Results Viewing Portal (IReV),” revealed the report.
“Weak points include a lack of INEC empowerment to enforce sanctions for electoral offences and breaches of campaign finance rules. Positively, INEC benefited from more timely financing than for previous contests.
“The introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the IReV for the 2023 elections was perceived as an important step to ensure the integrity and credibility of elections.
“However, delayed training of technical personnel, an inadequate mock testing exercise, and a lack of public information on the election technologies diminished expectations and left room for speculation and uncertainty.
“During the early stages of collation, presidential result forms from polling units were not displayed on the IReV, while Senate and House of Representative results were slowly published.”