24 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The European Union (EU) has made this Friday an appeal to all parties to “promote non-violence” in view of the presidential and parliamentary elections this Saturday in Nigeria, before stressing that the vote will take place “in an atmosphere of challenging security.”
“The EU has supported the elections in Nigeria and has continued to do so prior to the vote,” said an EU spokesman in statements given to Europa Press. “We have met and interacted with key presidential candidates and we see the importance of sustaining this post-election,” he added.
Thus, he has detailed that as part of these contacts all parties have been encouraged to “denounce the use of intimidation” and has recalled that the candidates signed an agreement on Wednesday to accept the electoral results and resort to legal channels to present any type of complaint or discrepancy about them.
On the other hand, he highlighted that the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, approved the deployment of an observation mission headed by Barry Andrews. The team arrived in Nigeria on January 10 with a mandate to monitor the elections and review Nigeria’s compliance with its commitments to democratic elections.
“The mission will analyze various aspects of the electoral process, including the impact of the security situation on the electoral process,” said this spokesman.
The successor to the current president, Muhammadu Buhari, will emerge from this Saturday’s elections, and he cannot run because he has already fulfilled the term limit set by the Nigerian Constitution.
This time around, the dispute features a third-way candidate, Peter Obi, who hopes to break the traditional dominance of the two main Nigerian parties, Buhari’s All Progressives Party (APP), which has nominated the former governor of Lagos Bola Tinubu, and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has former vice president Atiku Abubakar.
The presidential elections are also the first time since the return of the country to civilian rule in 1999 in which none of the candidates is a former military leader, as was the case with Buhari, who was in charge of the country between December 1983 and August 1985 after a coup.