Commonwealth: Nigerians Must Be Able To Vote Freely During The Elections

By Joshua Samuel

Parties, candidates, and their supporters have been asked by the Commonwealth Observation Group to do their share to ensure fair and credible elections. On Saturday, Nigerians can freely cast their ballots in the presidential and national assembly elections, the observer mission insists.

At a press conference in Abuja on Monday, Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa, made the appeal.

He said the results would be important for Nigeria and the entire continent, noting that the polls will be Africa’s largest democratic exercise. The delegation’s head urged all parties to remain committed to delivering an inclusive and transparent election.

Freely exercising their right to vote, with the fundamental freedoms of expression, association, and assembly fully upheld,” is what the Commonwealth wants its residents to be allowed to say.

The group’s mandate, according to Mbeki, is to monitor and evaluate events leading up to, during, and following the election. The team will evaluate whether the elections were held in accordance with the criteria and take into account all variables relevant to the validity of the electoral process.

“We shall be objective, independent, and unbiased as we do this evaluation and fulfill our obligations,” Mbeki continued.

The electoral authorities, parties, the media, and civil society organizations that advocate for women, young people, and people with disabilities will brief the mission.

In 176,846 polling places across Nigeria, an estimated 93.4 million registered voters will be able to cast ballots for candidates for president and the national parliament.

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