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Politics of Sunday, 14 November 2021

Source: www.thisdaylive.com

Difficulties in Anambra election may affect 2023 polls - CSO

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A civil society organisation (CSO), The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), has said that the difficulties experienced in the recent Anambra governorship election may affect the conduct of the 2023 general election.

In a report on the election, CDD noted that the increasing security challenges and glitches experienced with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) raised concerns on the need for extensive preparation and training before using the technology for the general elections.

The CDD also said noted that fake news and fear of the powers of the federal government could be blamed for the voter apathy seen in Anambra.

The report read in part, “the Anambra governorship election experience is an indication of the difficulties that might affect the conduct of the 2023 general election as insecurity spreads and deepens in most parts of the country,”
“The failure of the current democratic dispensation to cater for the citizens’ socio-economic wellbeing and safety, expectations that politicians with the biggest purses can buy their way to public office.
“The prevalence of fake news and fears that the federal government will use federal might to subvert the will of the people all drove voter apathy.

“Glitches with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) raised important questions about the need for extensive preparation and training before adopting technology.”

The group commended the Independent National Electoral Commission on the improvement of BVAS during the supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Area but called on the commission to review its logistics concerning the arrival of electoral officials and materials.
The CDD also called on the government to find solutions to the security challenges for the 2023 polls to run without a hitch.

“But there was a noticeable improvement in the supplementary election in Ihiala Local Government Area, and overall the use of BVAS highlighted the benefits of integrating technology to prevent electoral malpractice.
“The late arrival of election materials and poll officials calls for a review of INEC’s current logistics template, particularly under the prevailing insecure conditions.

“We call on INEC and other stakeholders to do all within their power to avoid inconclusive elections as it dampens confidence in the transparency and credibility of elections.

“We call on the federal government to take urgent measures to address worsening insecurity in the build-up to the 2023 elections, as this has clear implications on voter turnout,” the statement added.

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