Towards Successful 2007 Election


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Towards Successful 2007 Election

- A 21-Point Agenda -

Mobolaji E. Aluko, PhD
Burtonsville, MD, 20866

March 28, 2005


Dear Compatriots:

Having studied VERY CLOSELY what went seriously wrong in the last three elections in Nigeria, I believe that a close application of the following 21-point agenda will minimize electoral fraud and achieve greater confidence in our electoral process.

1.  To achieve impartiality, the chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) should be a sitting judge chosen by the Chief Justice of the Federation.  The administration and composition of the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) should closely that of the National Electoral Commission.
2. The NEC should be placed under the Judiciary branch of government (and not under the Executive branch.) 
3.  The NEC should be funded as a First Charge from the Consolidate Revenue Fund of the Federal Republic.
4. The regular membership of the NEC should be  composed of:
(i)  four members ( by Nigerian Bar Association, the leading national Electoral Reform/Civil Society organization, the Women Association and the Youth Association.)
(ii) one member from each political party that scored more than or equal to five percent of total votes in the last national election.  In the very first Electoral Commission after adopting this agenda, ALL parties should be represented.
5.  The NEC shall supervise:
            - The Presidential Elections
            - The National Assembly (Senate and House) Elections
6.  The SIECs should supervise:
           - the State Gubernatorial Elections
           - The State Assembly Elections
           - The Local Government Elections
7.   The Nigerian Police Service – and never the Army – should be involved only in ensuring security of polling materials and preventing thuggery by rival parties' operatives.
8.  There should be no curfew on election day, which excuse was used by the Police and Army in 2003 to brazenly pervert the process.  Consequently, multiple voting (which curfews were to supposed to prevent), if found, should be severely punished.
9. Independent (local, national and international) monitors must be an INTEGRAL part of election administration, and not considered a necessary nuisance.

10.  All party candidates for a particular seat or election must have been determined at least two months before given election and advertised as such.  No substitutions of candidacy (unless for death within one month of the elections) should be allowed.
11.  The names of ALL candidates must appear on ALL ballot materials.

12. All qualified voters must be allowed to register as they turn 18 at all times and throughout the country, giving each a multi-piece Voter Registration card, which number depends on the number of elections in the given year.
13. Voter rolls must be published at least a month before the elections themselves, so that registrants can check their names, and parties can be satisfied that there is no hanky-panky.  The maximum number of voters too is thereby ascertained.
14.  On Election Day, independent monitors must independently record the total numbers of voters in any polling booth.
15.  Voting must be by secret ballot, after the voter has surrendered one of the pieces of registration paper.   Where there is doubt, a photo-id may be requested.

16.  At the very minimum, the number of total votes for all candidates must equal the number of voters independently adjudged by monitors, within the limits of spoilt ballots.
17.  Any precinct with unequal ballot numbers above a 20% limit should be declared void and re-voting required at a future date - or cancelled altogether.
18.  Any precinct below a 20% limit should be inspected to ascertain reasons, and whether a difference in election results would ensue one way or the other.
19.  Party operatives and independent monitors must certify results, which must be relayed by secure telecommunications transaction, to some central pool (whether local, state or national).
20.  A preliminary set of results must be announced within one week of election date, and a final set within three weeks of election date.  Under no circumstances must three weeks be exceeded.
21. All judicial determinations  of election results contestation - from the primary tribunal process to the relevant topmost appeal process - must be completed within three months of election date, and almost certainly before installment of any purported winners.

In closing, elections are the bottom floor of any electoral democracy, and every effort must be made to confer confidence in them.
Best wishes all.  Comments are welcome.

MONDAY QUARTERBACKING: Staggering Our Electoral Process
June 18, 2001
Sunday Musings: The National Assembly, the President and the Electoral Law
December 9, 2001
Mid-Week Essay: Before We Applaud Over Electoral Law Reversal…..
January 3, 2002
MID-WEEK ESSAY: Local Council Polls and INEC - A Funny Game Is Going On Here!
April 11, 2002
INEC Fails a simple electoral democracy test
September 23, 2002
INEC Finally Passes Some Constitutional Tests
December 29, 2002
Monitoring Nigeria’s Elections – The Carter Formula
April 5, 2003
Election 2003: NDI Preliminary Report
April 23, 2003
A Preliminary Forensic Analysis of INEC’s Website So Far 
April 28, 2003
Election Tribunals – The Third Way
May 8, 2003
Voter Registration and ID Registration
May 15, 2003
And What Is To Be Done About the 2003 Elections Results?
May 13, 2003



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