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Citizens access to results increases electoral integrity, says YIAGA

Benin—Yiaga Africa has said the Edo election has shown that citizens’ access to polling units results increases the integrity of the electoral process and urged the National Assembly to expedite action on reforms to the Electoral Act to legalize electronic transmission of results.

Co-Chairman, Yiaga Africa, Dr. Aisha Abdullahi, stated this in at a post-election briefing in Benin on Sunday.

She also called on the winner of the Edo State governorship election and supporters to be magnanimous in victory, even as he urged the loser to accept the result because it reflected the votes cast.

Furthermore, YIAGA described the just-concluded Edo State governorship election as an improvement on the Kogi and Bayelsa states one but called on the electoral body to improve on the training of ad hoc officials, especially on election day.

Abdullahi said: “The National Assembly should accelerate reforms to the Electoral Act to legalize electronic transmission of results.

“INEC results in viewing portal deployed to the election has demonstrated how citizens’ access to polling unit results increases the integrity of the electoral process and encourages acceptability of electoral outcomes.

“Given the significance of procedural infractions around counting of spoilt and counterfoil ballot paper, Yiaga Africa recommends better training for election day by INEC ad hoc officials.

“While these do not undermine the integrity of the process, they are a sign that election day officials’ training can be improved.

“Yiaga Africa knows that the Edo governorship election is an improvement on Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections and recommends INEC takes all necessary steps to address challenges seen in the election before the Ondo governorship election on October 10.

“Yiaga encourages INEC to address logistical challenges observed relating to late commencement of polls for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Ondo State.

“In addition, INEC should ensure that it enforces adherence to the COVID -19 health protocols in the Ondo election.

The group commended the Oba of Benin, Omo N’ Oba Ewuare 11, and the National Peace Committee for responding to the call by stakeholders on the threat of violence, saying that the intervention contributed in no small measure to the peaceful conduct of the election.

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