Socio-political think-tank tasks INEC on credible elections

A socio-political think-tank, the Abuja School of Social and Political Thoughts (ASSPT), has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure all eligible voters collect their voter cards before the election to avoid disenfranchisement.

It also urged INEC to simplify its digital processes to ensure efficient and timely upload of party agents for the forthcoming elections.

This came as ASSPT established an election observatory to monitor, analyse and prescribe solutions to issues affecting credibility of the 2023 elections.

In a statement in Abuja, yesterday, ASSPT Director, Dr. Sam Amadi implored the Commission to do everything possible to conduct free, fair and credible elections.

He said fair and effective participation by all parties will guarantee the credibility and fairness of the polls.

Amadi also said: “Two issues are involved in any decision to change a deadline that INEC had established as part of its schedule. First, it will be a breach of regulatory fairness for INEC to change its deadline for an activity important to electoral integrity after parties have factored such dates in their plans.

“INEC cannot abridge such date except in consultation with all the parties. To do so, is to put the other parties in difficulty. Regulatory fairness requires certainty. To change dates midcourse amounts to regulatory unfairness. This is a clear violation of the duty of fairness.”

Amadi said the objective of the ASSPT observatory is to offer an independent analysis of the challenges of free and fair elections and help INEC in its preparations towards the polls.

He said: “We believe that the most important aspect of the electoral process is not the actual voting, but actions taken by the electoral management body to make voting free and fair.
“In this realisation, we are not engaged in election monitoring but rather in observing and analysing the processes and procedures that guarantee fairness and credibility of voting and declaration of results.
“To this end, we will be having weekly press briefings to highlight challenges and offer solutions to ensure the conduct of the 2023 elections remain free, fair and credible.”