UK Wants Free, Fair 2023 Elections in Nigeria
The United Kingdom (UK) has said constitution and the Electoral Act amendment bills could reposition the Nigeria ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The UK said the 2023 elections must be free and fair, adding that INEC must be granted financial autonomy to prosecute electoral offenders.
Speaking at the fifth meeting of the Conference of Presiding Officers of Nigeria Legislatures holding for the first time after 10 years, the Development Director, British High Commission, Dr Christopher Pycroft said the UK welcomed the constitution and the electoral act amendment, but added that it must be done based on the yearnings of the people.
“We are pleased with the National Assembly’s determination to pass the important legislation, the electoral act. The passage of the electoral act is important to future elections in Nigeria. The UK as a supporter of Nigeria’s democracy, the electoral act should be passed to guarantee free and fair election.
“We welcome positive amendment to the electoral act that will strengthen the financial independence of INEC to provide inclusive technology for the transmission of elections results and prosecute electoral offenders. We commend the efforts of stakeholders including the national assembly and civil society organisations in the development of the electoral act. The next general elections is in 20 months aways, we encourage the national assembly to ensure quick response and pass the electoral act,” Pycroft said.
According to him, “Nigeria stands at a crossroads. The challenges are not insurmountable. These provide an opportunity for the lawmakers to provide an electoral reforms and the constitution amendment which will champion the course of development in Nigeria. The UK stands with Nigeria at these trying times. We will continue to work with you to build the most secured, prosperous and united Nigeria.
“The constitution amendment provides an opportunity for the legislature to prioritize the need of the citizens. The presiding officers must respond to the Nigeria challenges to maintain development. The United Kingdom stands with Nigeria at these challenging times. The independent of the legislature is the critical component of the check and balances between the various branches of government,” he added.