Transition Monitoring Group writes off Bayelsa governorship election

Posted by News Express | 9 December 2015 | 3,070 times

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The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) on Tuesday expressed concern over the conduct of last weekend’s Bayelsa State governorship election, saying it fell below expectation and cannot pass credibility test.

The organisation, which deployed 300 observers for the exercise, said security agencies disappointed Nigerians because they refused to act, despite earlier warnings three months before the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states regarding flash points.

TMG Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Zikirulkahi, conveyed its position in a preliminary statement read to journalists on Tuesday evening in Abuja. The statement reads in part:

“TMG highlights again with grave concern persistent challenges in the organisation of credible elections in Bayelsa State. In the seven LGAs where elections did hold on Saturday, December 5, 2015:

•Proper accreditation procedures were not followed in many polling units. TMG observers reported that in 42% of polling units observed, individuals were permitted to vote if the card reader could not read their PVCs. In 11% of polling units observed, significant numbers of individuals – 26 or more – were permitted to vote although the card reader could not read their PVCs.

•In 19% of polling units observed, 26 or more individuals were accredited to vote while voting was ongoing.  According to INEC’s Approved Guidelines and Regulations for the Conduct of 2015 General Elections, accreditation should be declared closed before voting commences (sections 14a and 16a).

•Abnormally high rates of results in polling units were declared null and void by poll officials. In 19% of polling units observed, INEC officials reported that the results tabulated at the polling unit were null and void. In accordance with INEC’s Approved Guidelines and Regulations for the Conduct of 2015 General Elections, results are declared null and void when an election is not held or cancelled or where over-voting has taken place (sections 28 and 31).

“The above findings suggest that the gubernatorial election in Bayelsa was characterised by serious irregularities throughout the process, which call into question the credibility of the election.  TMG calls on INEC to adhere to its Approved Guidelines and Regulations for the Conduct of 2015 General Elections to ensure the credibility of the electoral process.

“Furthermore, recognising the challenges posed by the security and political environment in Bayelsa, the TMG Chair wishes to particularly thank the Quick Count observers who persevered in the conduct of their duties despite the difficulties faced.”

•Photo shows TMG Chairman, Ibrahim Zikirulkahi.


Source: News Express

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