As Nigeria prepares for its general elections in February, the African Union(AU) Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has approved the deployment of an AU election observation mission (AUEOM) to cover the Nigerian election.
Apart from the short-term observers, the AU will deploy a team of 15 electoral experts as long term observers who will remain in the country until March 11 to cover all the critical stages of the electoral process. The 15 long term observers are expected to be joined by 50 short-term observers from AU member states to follow the electoral process and meet with government officials, candidates and political parties, civil society representatives and the media.
"The AUEOM's assessment of the electoral process is independent. Its purpose is to offer an impartial assessment of the elections and their compliance with the Federal Republic of Nigeria's international and regional commitments with regard to democratic elections, as well as with laws governing elections in the Federal Republic of Nigeria," said the statement.
AUEOM has a mandate to observe and report on the electoral process in Nigeria and will operate in accordance with relevant AU instruments on democracy and elections, it said.
The mission will issue its preliminary findings and conclusions shortly after the election day.
A final report with recommendations for future improvement of elections in Nigeria will be published within two months after the elections, according to the statement