Electoral reform: Unbundle INEC before 2027 polls – Stakeholders

“INEC should transmit polling unit electlon results in near real-time to the dedicated portal accessible by the public. This should be included in the Electoral Act amendment."

Electoral reform: unbundle inec before 2027 polls - stakeholdersStakeholders in the electoral process have tasked the Federal Government to unbundle the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make it more efficient, ahead of the 2027 General Election.

The stakeholders said this in a communique issued on Sunday at the end of the National Multi-Stakeholders Forum on Electoral Reform Priorities, under the auspices of Youth Electoral Reform Priorities.

They also urged the National Assembly to complete the amendment of the Electoral Act and the review of the Constitution, two years before the general election, to enable Nigerians understand the changes, for effective implementation and compliance.

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The stakeholders observed that the processes leading to the 2023 general elections fell below expectations.

“Constitutional reforms to strengthen the electoral process are national priorities for many Nigerians, especially the organisations represented at the multi-stakeholders forum.

“We urge the Federal Government to create special election committee with non-partisan people of impeccable character to take over the power of the President in appointing the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“This committee will also be responsible for appointing INEC National Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commmissioners,” they said.

The stakeholders also said that the amendments should ensure that all pre-election cases were concluded before elections and post-election cases concluded before inauguration of elected officials.

“There is also need for periodic audit of the National Register of Voters.

“INEC should transmit polling unit electlon results in near real-time to the dedicated portal accessible by the public. This should be included in the Electoral Act amendment.

“INEC should be unbundled by creating the National Electoral Offenses Commission which will have the power to prosecute electoral offenders,” they added.

The stakeholders called on government to empower and expand the scope of the National Orientation Agency to mobilise Nigerians for future elections through effective voter education programme.

“Nigerian youths and otherstakeholders should continue to be actively engaged in the electoral process, beginnng with the constitutional and electoral review,” they said.

The Forum was organised by Kimpact Development lnitiative with the support of National Democratic Institute and National Endowment for Democracy.

It was attended by a wide range of organisations including the Youth Electoral Reform Project; Nigerian Youths Parliament; National Association of Nigerian Students; representatives of political parties; Inter-Party Advisory Council, and the Conference of United Political Parties.

Others were the Nigerian Union of Journalists: Nigerian Labour Congress: Nigerian Bar Association; Christian Association of Nigeria; Jama’atu Nasril Islam; and Nigerian Medical Association.