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INEC News Bulletin

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INEC TO STRENGTHEN COLLABORATION WITH UN WOMEN ON INCLUSIVENESS

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has reiterated the Commitment of the Commission towards increasing women participation in the electoral process.

He gave the assurance when he received the United Nations Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Comfort Lamptey and other members of the UN Women parliament at his office in Abuja, today.

Professor Yakubu, noted that support of the UN Women and consultations with Political Parties had led to an increase of women in leadership positions of Political Parties.

“We recognize the support and recognition you have always accorded to our role in ensuring that programmes and policies of Political Parties are gender responsive. It is one such support that led to the consultative meeting of the leadership of political parties in Nigeria in December last year and it was a huge success. Forty-five out of the 46 political parties at that time attended that particular consultative meeting.

“Since then we have registered more political parties and I am happy to note that we have more women as chairmen of political parties in Nigeria than at any other point in our democratic history”.

He commended the UN Women for the successful hosting and inclusion of INEC in its on-going two-day Regional Conference with the theme: “Women’s Political Participation in West and Central Africa: Comparative perspectives and experience sharing”.

Professor Yakubu said the Commission always looked forward to such kind of engagements and reassured the envoy of deeper ties. “The more we engage the better for us in the African continent. INEC and the UN Women will continue to partner and our partnership will continue to grow from strength to strength,” he said.

Earlier, Ms. Lamptey said the UN Women in the last two days have been discussing on the issue of women’s political participation in Africa at the regional conference.

She said the meeting has provided the opportunity to share good experiences and practice of women in politics in Africa and hoped that the experiences shared would help strengthen women’s representation in politics.

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TECHNOLOGY IS REDUCING THE POSSIBILITY OF ELECTION MANIPULATION IN AFRICA – INEC CHAIRMAN

Coming on the heels of a successful three-day International Conference on the use of Technology in elections in Africa, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and President of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commission’s (ECONEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu has declared that the increasing deployment of Technology in elections is increasingly reducing the possibilities of manipulation of elections in Africa.

He said:  “the truth is that increasingly in Africa, elections are going beyond the capacity of the electoral Commissions to manipulate. With technology, elections are in the hands of the people and our commitment as INEC is that only the votes cast by citizens would determine who wins elections in Nigeria”.

Professor Yakubu made the assertion today at a post-conference press briefing, held after a successful three-day conference organized by the quartet of INEC, ECONEC, the Electoral Commission’s Forum of Southern Africa, with support from the European Union Centre for Electoral Support (ECES)  and themed:  “Opportunities and Challenges in the use of Technology in elections; experience from Western and Southern Africa,” held at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

The INEC Chairman said: “we have had three days of discussions, participated by over 30 countries from West and Southern African sub-regions on the deployment of technology in elections. We want to reassure you that technology has come to stay in the conduct of elections in the two sub-regions.

“Here we are not talking about actual voting, collation and transmission of results, but all the processes including the compilation of the voter register. Technology also will be deployed in all the processes, including the tracking of logistics for elections”.

He explained that all countries represented at the conference recognized the importance of technology in their various socio-economic and political realities as well as individual enabling legal framework and assured that Election management Bodies in the Western and Southern African sub-regions would continue to ensure that they retained the confidence of their people.  The INEC Chairman stressed that “election at the end of the day is not just about technology, it is about people and about their confidence in the processes”.

On her part, the Co-organizer of the Conference and Chairperson Electoral Commission of Namibia, who is also the President of Electoral Commissions Forum of Southern African Development Community,  Advocate Notemba Tjipueja, maintained that getting stakeholder buy-in on the deployment of technology is a thorough process of consultation, which is a process unique to each country.

She said her country had through consultation and stakeholders’ acceptance deployed electronic voting since 2013, this she explained has enabled the country improve the efficiency of processes and eliminate cases of spoilt ballots.

The President of European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), Ms. Monica Frassoni, congratulated INEC, ECONEC and SADC for a successful conference. She said:  “we believe that this has been successful not only for the number and the prestige and the credibility of the participants but also the exchange of views were very frank and open.  There are some common teachings that we can all bring home”.

Ms. Frassoni assured that her organization would continue to partner with INEC and other EMBs in Africa to ensure the electoral processes are improved and democracy is deepened.

 

…..INEC TO DEPLOY TECHNOLOGY FOR RESULTS COLLATION IN 2019

Explaining new technologies to be deployed in the 2019 general elections to speed up the process and declare results earlier than before, Professor Yakubu hinted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was planning to deploy technology for the collation and transmission of electronic results without prejudices to the manual process.

The INEC Chairman explains further:  “The Commission is not deploying electronic voting for the 2019 general elections, but will deploy technology for the collation and transmission of electronic results without prejudices to the manual process. We felt that by doing so we will collate and declare results more speedily and more accurately.

“We have been piloting in several elections, the idea of electronic transmission of results including the transmission of scanned copies of result sheets directly from the polling units. But you know there are two dimensions to the issue of technology. What the Commission can do and what citizens can do in their own rights as citizens.

“We have made it possible now for citizens to do what we call Citizens Mandate protection.  In addition to all the statutory forms that we issue to political parties and their agents at polling stations, the Commission has constituently pasted the result at each and every polling unit nationwide.

“In the last Anambra governorship election, we designed a special poster called EC60E in which the results would be entered and we even have columns for political party agents if they wish to sign. This will be pasted at each of the 199,973 polling units nationwide. Citizens are free to quickly take a picture of the EC8E and if they have their own situation room, they can easily collate results”.

 

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