Out of 69 recommendations on improving future electoral processes made by the European Union (EU), Common Wealth (CW), among others, only 21 can be implemented by administrative actions, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said.
International organisations including the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM), the Common Wealth, the National Democratic Institute (NDI)/International Republican Institute (IRI) had made separate recommendations to INEC on how to correct the lapses of the 2015 elections.
The EU made 30 recommendations, CW issued 24 while NDI/IRI jointly made 15 recommendations.
The INEC chairman, however, said most of the recommendations were implementable only by amendment to the Electoral Act by the National Assembly.
He spoke in Lagos, yesterday, during the post 2019 General Elections review meeting with the media.
He said only nine of EU’s recommendations can be implemented by INEC; out of CW’s 24 recommendations, only eight are implementable while only four of the NDI/IRI’s recommendations can be implemented by the commission.
Others, he said, required collaboration with others and “in many cases amendment to the electoral legal frameworks which is actually beyond INEC itself; we have to go to the National Assembly.”
He said the commission was committed to the immediate implementation of those recommendations which could be done without recourse to the National Assembly.
Yakubu said: “We are committed to ensuring that some of the recommendations that we can implement by administrative actions will be implemented in the forthcoming Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections scheduled for November 16, 2019.
“Indeed, I want to assure you that if there is any critical recommendation that requires immediate actions, we will consider it in the next few weeks when we will conduct the first bye-election since the 2019 general elections coming up on 3rd of August for Pengana State Constituency of Plateau State,” he said.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye, said constitutional and legal alterations alone can’t solve the challenges of the electoral process but it must include a change in attitude by major stakeholders in the electoral process and a commitment to play by the rules.
The chairman, Planning, Monitoring and Strategy Committee of INEC, Dr Muhammed Lecky, said the post-election review was to evaluate the conduct of the 2019 elections and learn vital lessons that would enable the commission review its policies and programmes ahead of the 2023 elections.