It Matters That Nigeria Conducts Credible Elections - Commonwealth

By The Commonwealth Secretariat, PRNE
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ABUJA, Nigeria, February 9, 2011 - The Commonwealth is at an advanced stage of preparations for the
monitoring of elections in Nigeria, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General
Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba said on Wednesday at the end of a four-day visit to
the West African country.

During her visit, Ms Masire-Mwamba and her delegation engaged key actors
and stakeholders involved in the forthcoming elections, and re-affirmed the
Commonwealth's support and expectations for a peaceful and credible process.

She spoke at a news conference in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

"The Commonwealth takes a keen interest in elections across its
membership. Nigeria is a valued member with whom we have a strong and mutual
beneficial engagement. It is also a key member of the association which
contributes and participates actively in Commonwealth activities - including
hosting CHOGM in 2003, and producing a Secretary-General of the
Commonwealth," Ms Masire-Mwamba said.

"Nigeria is a leader on the continent, playing a significant role in
promoting peace, and in regional economic growth and development.

"It matters to the Commonwealth, Africa and the world that Nigeria and
other member states conduct credible elections.

"Since arriving in Abuja on Sunday, I have met with leaders of political
parties, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), civil society
representatives and the international community. I have listened to their
views on how the process is going, and discussed the progress as well as the
challenges. In all our meetings, we have had candid and open discussions.

"Stakeholders have noted positive steps in the preparations so far. I am
hopeful that if all actors - politicians, civil society, the public, and you,
members of the media continue to play your expected roles, there can be an
outcome that reflects the will and aspirations of the people.

"Any election is a complex and challenging undertaking and requires the
cooperation and support of all stakeholders. Political leaders and parties
must display political will to ensure a credible process. The people need to
show faith in the democratic process and participate in it. It is crucial
that violence is avoided by all means, and the rule of law must be allowed
to prevail. All must ensure that both the process and outcome meet
Commonwealth values as well as international and regional electoral
benchmarks to which Nigeria has committed itself.

"On our part, we will remain engaged and offer support and assistance as

"We wish the people of Nigeria a most successful, peaceful and credible
election," Ms Masire-Mwamba concluded.

For media enquiries, please contact Julius Mucunguzi, Media Officer, on
+234-7063597240 or +44-7894-593-517, email:

For media enquiries, please contact Julius Mucunguzi, Media Officer, on +234-7063597240 or +44-7894-593-517, email: j.mucunguzi at

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