NDI and IRI to Field Joint Delegation to Assess Pre-Election Environment in Nigeria

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and IRI are fielding a joint delegation to assess preparations for Nigeria’s Feb. 14 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Abuja, Nigeria – The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and IRI are fielding a joint delegation to assess preparations for Nigeria’s Feb. 14 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Members of the delegation are: Ambassador (retired) George Moose, former U.S. assistant secretary of state for African Affairs and vice chairman of the board of directors of the U.S. Institute of Peace; Brigalia Bam, former chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa; Patrick Muyaya, member of parliament from the Democratic Republic of Congo; Pauline Baker, former president of the Fund for Peace; Michael Bratton, distinguished professor of political science and African studies at Michigan State University; Robert Lloyd, professor of international relations at Pepperdine University and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center; Christopher Fomunyoh, senior associate and regional director for Central and West Africa at NDI; and Gretchen Birkle, regional director for Africa at IRI.

The mission’s findings will be presented at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

The delegation will assess the state of preparations for next month’s elections, including the legal and political environment, through meetings with the Independent National Electoral Commission, presidential candidates, political party leaders, members of the National Assembly, and representatives of civil society, the media, the international community and government.

The mission reflects the international community’s interest in and support for Nigeria’s electoral process.

The delegation will conduct its activities in a nonpartisan manner in accordance with applicable law and international standards for election monitoring set forth in the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation.

Over the last 25 years, NDI has conducted more than 150 election observation missions in 62 countries, including fielding international observation delegations for the 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 Nigerian elections.

Since 1983, through international election observation missions and assessments, IRI has monitored 204 elections in 57 countries, including the 1998, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 Nigerian elections.
Since Nigeria’s transition from military to civilian rule in 1999, NDI and IRI have worked closely with civic and political organizations to support the development of the country’s democratic institutions. NDI is currently engaged in an Electoral Empowerment of Civil Society Project, led by a consortium of partners, including NDI, the Centre for Democracy and Development – Ghana, Search for Common Ground and World Learning. This five-year initiative, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.K.’s Department for International Development, aims to: 1) improve impartial observation, accurate reporting on, and recording of election vote totals by domestic election observers during and after the 2015 election cycle; 2) improve management within Nigerian partner civil society organizations; and 3) increase participation by marginalized groups in Nigeria political processes.

IRI is supporting political party development through a program that engenders more inclusive political processes as well as a greater culture of government accountability within Nigeria.  This three-year initiative, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, 1) strengthens Nigerian political parties’ internal democracy in preparation for the 2015 electoral cycle and beyond; 2) strengthens the role and position of women, youth and persons living with disabilities within political party structures; and 3) improves the ability of political parties to develop and communicate issue-based platforms, taking into account various constituencies, including women, youth and persons with disabilities.

The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. More information is available at www.ndi.org.

A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, the International Republican Institute advances freedom and democracy worldwide by helping political parties to become more issue-based and responsive, assisting citizens to participate in government planning, and working to increase the role of marginalized groups in the political process – including women and youth.

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