April poll: EU mission deploys 52 observers

THE PUNCH Newspaper- John Alechenu

The European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria on Saturday deployed 52 long-term observers across the 36 states of the country.

The action is to enable the team to comprehensively, assess the electoral process prior, during and after the elections.

The elections are scheduled for 2, 9 and 16 April, 2011.

Deputy Chief Observer of the Mission, Riccardo Barranca, while answering questions from journalists on Saturday, said more observers were being expected.

He said, “60 short term observers and a delegation of the European Parliament will join them shortly before the elections.

“In total the EU EOM will deploy over 120 observers from 27 member-states as well as Norway and Switzerland.”

He noted that the duty of observers was restricted to observation; adding that it was not within their powers to intervene at any stage of the process.

Activities of the short and long-term observers will cover the entire country including rural and urban areas, he added.

The EU was invited by the Federal Government to observe the electoral process, and to assess compliance with domestic law, international and regional commitments to elections.

The observer mission is independent from any EU institution or member-states and is obliged to remain neutral and abide by the declaration of principles for international election observation and the code of conduct, as well as Nigerian laws.


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