Opposition politicians in the Democratic Republic of Congo warned recent upheaval at the national electoral commission may delay elections and undermine stability in Africa’s biggest copper producer, after the vice president of the body resigned at the weekend. The resignation of Andre Pungwe from the Independent National Electoral Commission came after its president, Abbe Apollinaire Malu Malu, quit in October because of ill-health. “If we are not careful, the crisis situation at the CENI, which the ruling Presidential Majority is in the process of creating, will soon undermine the organization of elections and the stability of Congo,” the opposition group, known as the G7, said in an e-mailed statement. The G7 said Pungwe’s resignation was a result of political pressure placed on the independent body by the government, which it says intends to delay a series of elections over the next 12 months that will culminate in a presidential vote in 2016. Pungwe’s decision to leave was personal and unrelated to his work at the CENI, government spokesman Lambert Mende said Monday by phone from Kinshasa, the capital.
Independent National Electoral Commission
Guinea’s incumbent President Alpha Conde won the country’s second democratic election, but Guinea’s opposition parties have rejected the results and called for demonstrations. Bakary Fofana Fofana, the head of Guinea’s Independent National Electoral Commission, announced President Alpha Conde’s re-election victory late Saturday. Fofana said before the constitutional court’s final validation of the results, the electoral commission proclaims Conde as the winner in the first round of voting held last Sunday. Before the results were announced, Guinea’s main opposition leader and former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo announced he and the six other opposition candidates would reject them.Full Article: Guinea Divided as Conde Re-Elected.
A leaked letter from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission says the commission has not received the funding it was allocated for upcoming elections, holding up preparations for the vote. The letter from the Independent National Electoral Commission, known by the French acronym CENI, was a reaction to a government minister’s statement that the commission had enough money to prepare for national, provincial and local elections between now and the end of next year. But Hans Hoebeke, an analyst for the International Crisis Group who follows the DRC’s electoral process, said that according to CENI’s letter, it has received only 17 percent of the funds allocated to it since 2013.Full Article: DRC Electoral Body Pleads Lack of Funds.
Nigeria: Independent National Electoral Commission Seeks Review of Law Prohibiting Full Electronic Voting | allAfrica.com
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called for a review of the law prohibiting electronic voting in Nigeria. Acting Chairman of INEC, Hajia Amina Zakari, made this call on Tuesday at the Post 2015 Electoral Reform Symposium organised by the National Democratic Institute and other Civil Society Organisations. She argued that technology has become an unavoidable reality in everyday life and that it played a major role in the success recorded in the 2015 general elections. The introduction of the Card Reader by the immediate past INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, was said to have minimized massive rigging and electoral irregularities during the 2015 general elections.Full Article: Nigeria: INEC Seeks Review of Law Prohibiting Full Electronic Voting - allAfrica.com.
Nigeria: Will Card Readers Work? Electoral Commission Responds To Concerns Over Voter Disenfranchisement, Delays | IB Times
Fears were mounting this week in Nigeria about whether polling places’ voter card readers would work correctly during Saturday’s presidential election. Several politicians had expressed concern that mechanical malfunctions could lead to disenfranchisement, but the Independent National Electoral Commission promised stakeholders Tuesday that the card readers would not fail. “I want to assure all prospective voters in Ebonyi that no person with Permanent Voter Card (PVC) will be denied the opportunity to vote,” said resident electoral commissioner Lawrence Azubuike, according to Vanguard. “Once the PVC is verified and certified correct, even if the authentication of the voter’s fingerprint does not go through, the voter will still go ahead to vote.”Full Article: Nigeria Elections 2015: Will Card Readers Work? Electoral Commission Responds To Concerns Over Voter Disenfranchisement, Delays.
Segun Agbaje, the Ondo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has revealed that the commission would not go back on the use of three different coded colors for the 2015 general elections to be held March 28 and April 11. The three colors, red, green and black, are meant for use in next week’s presidential, House of Representatives and Senate elections. Mr. Agbaje made the disclosures today at a stakeholders’ forum in Akure, the Ondo State capital. He explained that the innovation was part of the commission’s efforts to avoid rigging and stressful sorting of ballots papers after the conclusion of voting.Full Article: Nigeria To Use Coded Color Ballot Papers, Boxes For Polls, Election Commission Says | Naija247news.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) concluded its final meeting with all registered political parties Thursday ahead of the March 28 election. Nick Dazang, INEC’s deputy director for public affairs, told VOA, “We updated them about our preparations to conduct the 2015 general elections. We were able to explain to them the procedures and the guidelines for these elections. We were also able to explain to them the ballots and the colors of the ballots and the papers that would be used on Election Day.” Some political parties, including President Jonathan’s ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), expressed concern about the use of the voter card reader machines the election body plans to use during the poll. The parties said at the meeting the machines should not be used, arguing that millions of prospective voters could be disenfranchised during the poll.Full Article: Nigerian Electoral Commission Confident of Transparent Vote.
Protesting youths, under the umbrella of “Middle Belt Concerned Youths” on Wednesday, stormed the national headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, protesting the use of permanent voter cards (PVCs) and the card readers for the elections. This was just as they also called on the Federal Government to sack the INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega with immediate effect. However, the youth, who arrived the Maitama headquarters of INEC in hired luxury buses around 8.00 a.m. were prevented by armed policemen and other security agents, who cordoned the INEC office. The youths, armed with various placards, were received by an Assistant Director in charge of security, Victor Egbo, on behalf of the commission. He received their protest letter with a promise to deliver same to the commission’s chairman.Full Article: Protest rocks INEC over planned use of card readers.
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.Full Article: Nigeria Opposition Parties Threaten to Boycott Elections.
Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reassured prospective voters that the elections now scheduled for March 28 will proceed as planned despite concerns the vote could be postponed again for security reasons. The general election, originally set for February 14, was postponed by the INEC, which cited security challenges in parts of the country’s north, where Boko Haram militants often attack civilians. Nick Dazang, INEC’s deputy director for public affairs, said the electoral body is using the postponement period to strengthen systems to ensure a transparent, credible, free and fair election. Dazang spoke after opposition groups including the All Progressives Congress led by retired General Muhammadu Buhari said they will not accept another “unconstitutional” postponement of the election.Full Article: Nigeria Electoral Body Reassures Public Over March Election.
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan held talks Thursday on postponing next week’s presidential election over mounting attacks by the radical Boko Haram group, but the election commission insisted on maintaining the date, a governor said. Jonathan held seven hours of talks with security officials, state governors, the election commission and former heads of state on whether to proceed with the vote in the face of growing bloodshed in the northeast, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha told journalists. Among those attending the meeting of the Council of State was Jonathan’s main challenger in the election, General Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler, who led Nigeria between 1983 and 1985.Full Article: Nigeria's election body insists no need for vote delay | Daily Mail Online.
Nigeria’s electoral commission has said it is postponing the Feb. 14 presidential election until March 28 due to security concerns, caving in to pressure from the ruling People’s Democratic Party in a move likely to enrage the opposition. Foreign powers are closely observing how elections will be held in Africa’s biggest economy and have voiced concerns over violence in the aftermath, as was the case after the 2011 election, when 800 people died. The postponement could stoke unrest in opposition strongholds such as the commercial capital, Lagos, and Nigeria’s second city, Kano, because the opposition has been staunchly against a delay. … “The commission cannot lightly wave off the advice of the nation’s security chiefs … The risk of deploying young men and women and calling people to exercise their democratic rights in a situation where their security cannot be guaranteed is a most onerous responsibility,” Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Attahiru Jega told reporters.Full Article: Nigeria postpones Feb. 14 presidential election to March 28: INEC | Reuters.
Senate has commenced amendment of the Electoral Act (2010) with members divided over electronic voting in the 2015 polls and whether all the elections should be conducted same day. In an unprecedented move in the Seventh Senate, the chamber yesterday passed for second reading, three separate bills seeking various amendments to the electoral law. The bills, which were sponsored by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Minority Whip, Abu Ibrahim and Alkali Jajere, seek to determine the tenure of the office of the Secretary of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and removal of the commission’s chairman’s powers to appoint the secretary. Besides, the amendments equally seek the conduct of general elections, six months before the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent while bye-elections should be held twice a year.Full Article: Electronic voting divides Senate.
Nigeria: Jega promises improved 2015 elections as senator rules out electronic voting | Premium Times Nigeria
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega, on Tuesday assured that the Commission will improve on its performance in the 2015 general elections. Mr. Jega stated this during the public presentation of INEC Strategic Plan (2012-2016) in Abuja where the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC, Alkali Jajere, ruled out electronic voting in the 2015 polls. Mr. Jega, who was responding to the suggestions made by the leaders of some of the political parties that INEC should sit up in order to ensure smooth and successful polls, come 2015, said the Commission would be transparent and accountable to retain the confidence stakeholders have in it.Full Article: Jega promises improved 2015 elections as senator rules out electronic voting - Premium Times Nigeria.
Ahead of the 2015 general election, the United Progressive Party (UPP) has stressed the need for legislative action that would empower the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to apply the electronic voting system for the election. This was even as it inaugurated a 19-man Board of Trustees (BoT) led by the former member of the House of Representatives, George Ozodinobi who represented Aniocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal constituency. Speaking at the end of the second National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party, the national chairman of the UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie advocated a system that would enable a voter to vote from the comfort of the home, especially in view of the current wave of insecurity in the country and which he observed created apathy among voters.Full Article: 2015: UPP makes fresh case for electronic voting.
Fire razed a section of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s headquarters in Abuja, Monday, causing pandemonium around the Maitama area of the Federal Capital Territory, as staff of the commission ran to different directions for safety. The incident came barely 18 months after a similar one occurred in the office of the commission’s chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, causing destruction on the visitors’ room as well as some computer sections.Full Article: allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Fire Guts INEC Headquarters.
Nigeria: Politicians Condemn Voting Rights For Nigerian Election Commission Officials | Leadership Newspapers
Some politicians in Lagos on Monday condemned plans by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow electoral officers exercise their franchise in the 2015 general elections. The politicians argued that the proposal would not serve the electoral process well, but would rather compound its problems. It would be recalled that Prof. Attahiru Jega, INEC Chairman, had on June 21, categorically said that electoral officers would vote in 2015, to end their disenfranchisement in the country’s electoral history. He explained that it was one of the measures being put in place by the commission to enhance the credibility of electoral process. In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr Sunny Moniedafe, said that electoral officers should be excluded from voting. “I don’t think it is proper for them to vote because it will affect their job of conducting election and they will be distracted. Of course, if there are competent people to take over while they go and vote, fine,” he said.Full Article: Politicians Condemn Voting Rights For INEC Officials | Leadership Newspapers.
Madagascar’s cabinet has agreed on a new elections body in another step towards holding a planned ballot this year after the term of its predecessor came to an end Wednesday. The Independent National Electoral Commission of the Transition (CENIT) replaces the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) unilaterally appointed in March 2010 by interim President Andry Rajoelina. CENI was also blamed for holding a controversial and widely-criticised referendum on November 17 of the same year. It is another step towards the envisaged holding of elections this year in keeping with a roadmap brokered by the SADC bloc last September.Full Article: Africa Review - Madagascar unveils new electoral commission.
A top adviser for veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi says the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is to blame for the “fraudulent” November elections. Albert Moleka, the cabinet director of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress party and spokesman for Mr. Tshisekedi, said the UN mission failed in its mandate to help Congo’s electoral commission administer a credible vote during the November elections.
“We found out that all these election figures were all made up with the complicity of the MONUSCO because it was part of the commission that validated the results,” said Moleka. “It’s a serious matter because MONUSCO was supposed to [bolster] security for the Congolese people and also to help us through the electoral process.”Full Article: DRC Opposition Figure Blames MONUSCO for Election Debacle | Africa | English.
The electoral commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo has halted the vote count for parliamentary elections until experts arrive from the United States and Britain, it announced Monday. The independent national electoral commission (CENI), which has registered many complaints regarding the presidential and parliamentary elections of November 28, said it did not know when these experts would come, or how many there would be.
“There has been a first meeting at the political level, with the ambassadors of the United States and Great Britain,” followed by a “technical” meeting with the UN mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), Jacques Djoli, vice-president of the CENI, told AFP.
“Discussions must continue. We hope that at the latest tomorrow or after tomorrow things will become clearer, because we already have results that need to be validated and a population that is awaiting the end of the process,” Djoli added.Full Article: AFP: DRCongo vote count halts until foreign experts come.