Buhari vs Atiku: EU speaks on preferred presidential candidate

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European Union (EU) has said it has no preferred candidate or party in the forthcoming presidential election.

It made this position known on Tuesday at a press conference organised by the EU-Election Observer Mission to Nigeria (EOM) 2019 in Abuja.

Chief Observer of the Mission, Maria Arena, said the EU-EOM will only “come with a fresh pair of eyes, looking just at the election process.

“We are not interested in the outcome of the elections; we have no interest in seeing this or that candidate or party win. We are here to observe if the electoral process was conducted in a transparent and credible manner,” she said.

On the objectives the EU-EOM is seeking to achieve during the presidential election, Ms Arena clarified: “We have the mandate only to collect information concerning the electoral process and then to publish our findings and make recommendations.

“We will assess the electoral process against Nigeria’s law and international commitments in relation to Democratic elections. We are completely independent in our conclusions.”

She further said the Observer Mission is in Nigeria with a team of 11 experts in Abuja, and 40 long-term observers who have been deployed in pairs around the country to cover all states.

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“We are here in the spirit of cooperation with Nigeria. We stand ready to deliver an impartial objective assessment of the electoral process,” Ms. Arena said.

She urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the security forces to provide clear real-time information on what they are doing and the actions they have taken.

The Chief Observer advised the government and political parties to play their part in promoting a free, fair and peaceful process before, during, and after the election day.

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