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African Union Deploys 50-Man Team To Monitor Feb Polls

DR Dlamini Zuma, the chairperson, African Union Commission (AUC), has appointed former Mozambique President, Joaquim Alberto-Chissano, to lead a 50-member election observers to Nigeria’s general election in February.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Zuma gave the approval on Thursday, in Addis Ababa, ahead Nigeria’s general election expected to hold between February 14 and 28.

Chissano is to be assisted by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Dr Aisha Abdullahi.

NAN reported that the commission had earlier deployed a team of 15 long-term electoral experts to the country under the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM).

Zuma said the long-term experts would remain in the country until March 11 to observe all the critical stages of the electoral process.

Int’l group to deploy over 800 observers

An international group, Africa Youth International Development Foundation (AFYIDEF), has unfolded plans to deploy over 800 observers to monitor the general election across the country.

This was as it called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare its level of preparations in terms of logistics and security for accredited observers.

She said the 15-ma

They short-term team are expected to arrive in Nigeria on February 7 to follow the electoral process and to meet with government and electoral officials, candidates and political parties, civil society representatives and the media.

According to Zuma, the AUEOM’s assessment of the electoral process would be independent with the purpose to offer impartial assessment of the elections in compliance with the country’s international and regional commitments to democratic elections.

NAN reported that AUEOM was mandated to observe and report on the electoral process in the country in accordance with relevant AU instruments on democracy and elections.

The AU instruments include the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Election and Governance, the 2002, OAU/AU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa and the 2002, AU Guidelines for Election Observation and Monitoring Missions.

They also include international standards like the 2005 Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation to which the AU is a signatory.

Zuma said the AUEOM would issue its preliminary findings and conclusions shortly after the elections while a final report with recommendations for future improvement of elections in the country would be published within two months after the elections.

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