ABUJA, Nigeria, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - The Commonwealth is at an advanced stage
of preparations for the monitoring of elections in Nigeria,
Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba said on
Wednesday at the end of a four-day visit to the West African country.
During her visit, Ms Masire-Mwamba and her delegation engaged key actors
and stakeholders involved in the forthcoming elections, and re-affirmed
the Commonwealth's support and expectations for a peaceful and credible
She spoke at a news conference in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
"The Commonwealth takes a keen interest in elections across its
membership. Nigeria is a valued member with whom we have a strong and
mutual beneficial engagement. It is also a key member of the
association which contributes and participates actively in Commonwealth
activities - including hosting CHOGM in 2003, and producing a
Secretary-General of the Commonwealth," Ms Masire-Mwamba said.
"Nigeria is a leader on the continent, playing a significant role in
promoting peace, and in regional economic growth and development.
"It matters to the Commonwealth, Africa and the world that Nigeria and
other member states conduct credible elections.
"Since arriving in Abuja on Sunday, I have met with leaders of political
parties, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), civil
society representatives and the international community. I have
listened to their views on how the process is going, and discussed the
progress as well as the challenges. In all our meetings, we have had
candid and open discussions.
"Stakeholders have noted positive steps in the preparations so far. I am
hopeful that if all actors - politicians, civil society, the public,
and you, members of the media continue to play your expected roles,
there can be an outcome that reflects the will and aspirations of the
"Any election is a complex and challenging undertaking and requires the
cooperation and support of all stakeholders. Political leaders and
parties must display political will to ensure a credible process. The
people need to show faith in the democratic process and participate in
it. It is crucial that violence is avoided by all means, and the rule
of law must be allowed to prevail. All must ensure that both the
process and outcome meet Commonwealth values as well as international
and regional electoral benchmarks to which Nigeria has committed
"On our part, we will remain engaged and offer support and assistance as
"We wish the people of Nigeria a most successful, peaceful and credible
election," Ms Masire-Mwamba concluded.
SOURCE The Commonwealth Secretariat
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