Nigeria’s opposition political parties have threatened to boycott the March 28 presidential vote if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) continues with its plan to use voter card reader machines during the poll. INEC says the card reader machines are meant to help authenticate voters with permanent voter cards, before they are allowed to vote. But the parties argue that the machine is prone to malfunction, which they say will disenfranchise prospective voters and undermine the credibility of the election. Nick Dazang, INEC’s deputy director for public affairs, said officials of the electoral body are shocked at the stance of the opposition parties. He said the parties agreed about measures INEC implemented to address their concerns ahead of the election. He dismissed reports that the card readers are not efficient.
Dazang said it appears the political parties have reneged on an agreement signed with the electoral body about the use of the card reader machines during the polls.
“We find this threat very curious that these political parties at the 11th hour will now make an about face in respect of the card reader,” said Dazang. “We had an agreement with all the political parties that the card reader is going to be deployed to accredit voters on Election Day. We also had an agreement that except a voter on Election Day presents himself with a permanent voter card he will not be allowed to vote in the election.”
Full Article: Nigeria Opposition Parties Threaten to Boycott Elections.