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The National Assembly and Presidential Elections in Nigeria, 20 and 27 February 1999

image of The National Assembly and Presidential Elections in Nigeria, 20 and 27 February 1999

These Election Reports are the observations, conclusions and recommendations of Commonwealth Observer Groups. The SecretaryGeneral constitutes these observer missions at the request of governments and with the agreement of all significant political parties. At the end of a mission, a report is submitted to the SecretaryGeneral, who makes it available to the government of the country in question, the political parties concerned and to all Commonwealth governments. The report eventually becomes a public document.

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The Poll, the Count and the Collation of Results

On each of the election days we deployed 15 two-person teams – one for each of the 12 zones into which INEC had divided the country, with the remaining three teams deployed to Abuja, Ibadan and Kano. In the case of the National Assembly elections these teams were in place three days before election day, while for the presidential election they were present at least one full day before. Having observed the delivery of the ballot papers, boxes and other material to INEC offices and then distribution to ward centres prior to polling day, our teams were able to witness their arrival at the polling stations and the poll and counting process. The observations did not end there. Our teams also followed the used materials back to the ward collation centres after the count and then to INEC’s local offices for safe-keeping. They also tracked the results – transmitted through a network of collation centres from ward to local government area to state and, in the case of the presidential election, to national level. Our teams co-operated with and benefited from the assistance of UN staff in state capitals and co-ordinated arrangements both with them and with other international observers – from the OAU, the European Union, a number of individual governments, the Carter Center/National Democratic Institute, the International Foundation for Election Systems/Association of African Electoral Administrators and the International Republican Institute – to avoid duplication and ensure that the international observer presence had maximum impact.

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