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Joint IRI/NDI Delegation in Nigeria Issues Second Pre-Election Statement on Preparations for 2019 General Elections

September 28, 2018

Abuja, Nigeria – Today, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI)’s joint pre-election assessment mission delegation released its second pre-election statement of findings and recommendations ahead of Nigeria’s 2019 general elections.

The delegation visited Nigeria from September 19-28, 2018. The delegation was led by Mvemba Dizolele, a Professorial Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (Democratic Republic of the Congo). The delegation also included: Robert Benjamin, Senior Associate & Regional Director for Central and East Europe, NDI (USA); Sarah Jegede-Toe, Co-Chair, Liberia National Elections Commission (Liberia); Anna Jones, National Network Coordinator, WANEP-The Gambia (The Gambia); and John Tomaszewski, Africa Director, IRI (USA).

“In our more than two decades of work in Nigeria, we have witnessed the democratic transformation of the country,” said Tomaszewski. “Through this assessment mission, IRI and NDI express solidarity with the Nigerian people and commitment to Nigeria’s democratic consolidation.”

“We are in Nigeria now because the pre-election environment is critical to the overall process,” said Benjamin. “The assessment seeks to support Nigerian efforts to make the 2019 elections participatory, transparent and credible.”

Today’s statement builds upon and reinforces the findings of IRI and NDI’s first pre-election assessment mission issued on July 20, 2018.  It also notes improvements made by electoral stakeholders in enhancing the electoral environment as well as continuing challenges and concerns for democratic elections in 2019. The delegation encourages Nigerians to continue their efforts to enhance citizen confidence and participation in the election and mitigate violence before, during, and after the polls.

IRI and NDI have organized more than 200 international election observation missions around the globe, earning a reputation for impartiality and professionalism. The IRI-NDI mission to Nigeria will conduct its activities in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct adopted by the United Nations in 2005 and will base its findings and recommendations on Nigerian laws and on international standards for elections. All activities will be conducted on a strictly nonpartisan basis and without interfering in the election process.

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About IRI

The International Republican Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing freedom and democracy worldwide. IRI enables political parties to become more issue-based and responsive, helps citizens to participate in government planning, and works to increase the role of marginalized groups in the political process. Since 1983, IRI has monitored 205 elections in 57 countries through international observation missions and assessments. Visit iri.org to learn more.

About NDI

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. Over the past 35 years, NDI has conducted more than 150 election observation missions in 62 countries. Visit ndi.org to learn more.