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Elections: NYSC coordinator charges corps members in Zamfara on electoral guidelines




Mr Dahunsi Muhammad, The State Coordinator of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) in Zamfara has charged corps members in the state to be guided by the electoral guidelines during the March 9, Governorship and House Assembly Elections.

Muhammad gave the charge in Gusau on Thursday while speaking at a sensitisation tour of the  NYSC Zonal Office in Gusau.

He advised the corps members to be apolitical while discharging their duties.

He told them to focus and concentrate on the national assignment trusted in their care, urging them to ensure that they uphold the integrity of the scheme during the exercise.

“You should avoid violation of electoral laws and refuse to compromise the national integrity in your care.

“You should avoid conniving with politicians to violate electoral rules and regulations,” he said.

According to him, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in collaboration with the security agencies in the state had made adequate arrangements to ensure effective security coverage for corps members during the exercise.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the coordinator, had during the tour visited Gusau, Bungudu and Tsafe Local Government Areas of the state ahead of the elections.


COVID-19: INEC seeks review of security architecture for elections



The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Friday, called for the review of security architecture for elections, in the light of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Yakubu, in his remarks during the first virtual consultative meeting of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee On Election Security (ICCES), said there was need to come up with clear guidelines supplementary Code of Conduct, for security personnel on election duty.

Yakubu said that the recently released INEC’s policy on conducting elections under the current global pandemic, was anchored on the guidelines issued by the Presidential Task Force (PTF), based on the advisory by health authorities.

“The guidelines provide for measures to protect the electoral process and the people involved, ranging from the election officials, observers, the media and above all, the voters.

“Doing so will also increase public confidence and consequently enhance the credibility of the electoral process.

“To do so effectively, there is need to review the security architecture in the light of the global pandemic and come up with clear guidelines, as well as supplementary Code of Conduct for security personnel on election duty.

 “As the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic will impact on the planning and deployment strategy for the conduct of elections generally, it is necessary for ICCES to evolve effective ways of securing and protecting the integrity of the electoral process.

“Fortunately, in the aftermath of recent governorship elections, ICCES set up an ad hoc committee to advise it on security arrangements for future elections.

“The report of the committee, which will be presented for consideration at this meeting, is coming at an auspicious time.

“We should, as a matter of urgency, come up with a policy and code of conduct for security personnel in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Yakubu said.

He disclosed that 15 out of 18 registered political parties had invited the commission to monitor their primaries for the nomination of candidates for the Edo Governorship, while the process for Ondo governorship election would be between July 2 to  July 25.

Yakubu, who said there were already warning signals the parties primaries for the elections were going to be acrimonious, called on security agencies to be proactive by meeting  early, with political parties and aspirants for peaceful primaries and elections.

“As you are aware, the conduct of primaries by political parties tends to be very acrimonious.

“The acrimony is carried forward into the electioneering campaigns and Election Day activities. Already, there are warning signals. The security agencies need to act proactively.

“An early engagement with political parties and aspirants is necessary in order to create the atmosphere for peaceful primaries and consequently peaceful elections,” he said.

He assured that INEC would continue to deepen the use of technology in the management of the country’s  electoral process, including ICCES meetings and other engagements with security agencies.

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, called on security agencies to ensure that Edo and Ondo governorship elections as well as by-elections were conducted without rancour.

Monguno, represented by Galadima Yusuf, expressed optimism that the pandemic would soon be over and there would be peaceful conduct of elections.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Anambra FA rolls out programmes for state, LFC elections



The Anambra State Football Association (AnSFA) has published the programme of activities for the State Board and Local Government Football Council (LFC) elections.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the four-year tenure of the Ifeanyi Ubah led board expired on May 3.

But the board met, at an extraordinary meeting in Awka on April 28, to approve three months extension for itself and the LFCs.

It cited COVID-19 lockdown as the reason for their inability to conduct the elections as they should have done.

The notice, dated May 27 and published at the AnSFA secretariat, Awka stated that the sale of nomination forms for all vacant positions would run from June 1 to June 24.

It then invited interested persons to obtain the form at the secretariat.

The notice was jointly signed by Jude Anyadufu and Chijioke Onyedika, Chairman and Secretary of the electoral committee respectively.

It states that “the electoral committee of AnSFA hereby opens sale of forms from June 1.

“Interested persons are informed to obtain nomination forms and guideline from the committee secretary at the AnSFA office at No.1 Ozoagu Square, Aromma Junction, Awka.

“Sale and return of forms from candidates close on June 24.

The committee said a list of successful candidates would be published on July 2 while submission and hearing of appeals would hold on July 4.

It also stated that election into the State Board and swearing-in of the new leadership would hold on July 21 while the date for Local Football Committees would be announced later.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Elections: INEC to implement measures to mitigate COVID-19 impact – Yakubu



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reassured Nigerians that it would continue to adopt and implement measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s electoral activities.



Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday gave the assurance at the commission’s first virtual consultative meeting with media organisations.

Yakubu solicited media cooperation and support in disseminating required information that would help to protect the health of voters and all those involved in electoral activities.

According  to him,  as usual, the Commission welcomes media comments and suggestions, as critical stakeholders involved in reporting and analysing our democracy and electoral process.

As citizens, the Commission believes that your opinions and suggestions will be of immense benefit to our electoral activities.

The Commission, therefore, values your contributions to policy formulation and implementation,” he said.

Yakubu said that COVID-19 pandemic had necessitated a rethink of many activities that had been taken for granted.

“With regard to the conduct of elections, the world is clearly sailing through uncharted waters.

“Only a few countries have conducted elections since the reported outbreak of the pandemic in December 2019.

“However, health authorities have issued guidelines on protective measures against the spread of the virus and the response to any emergencies that may occur,” Yakubu said.

Pledging INEC’s continued partnership with the media on voter education, the INEC boss disclosed that an online portal had been set up for media accreditation for Edo and Ondo Governorship Elections.

According  to him,  the Commission has always accredited media organisations to cover elections and to ensure your unimpeded access to voting locations and collation centres.

The forthcoming Edo and Ondo Governorship Elections as well as many bye-elections across the country will not be different.

“However, in tandem with the new health reality, accreditation of media organisations for these elections will be done online through a dedicated portal,” Yakubu said.

He pledged the commission’s commitment to continue to ensure that media carried out their responsibilities without any form of hindrance.

The President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo, in his remarks, commended the steps taken so far by the INEC in conducting elections during pandemic.

Isiguzo pledged the continued support of the media for successful elections.

He, however, called on the commission to give the same support to the media, especially for them to carry out their responsibilities without any form of harassment by the security agencies.


Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Poland to hold presidential elections on June 28




Poland will hold its presidential elections on June 28, with a run-off round two weeks later, Elzbieta Witek, speaker of the Polish Sejm (lower house of parliament), announced on Wednesday.

Witek said during a press conference that she had received no objections from the National Electoral Commission (PKW) against the proposed election date, and hoped that the election campaign will be fair and that all election activities will be carried out efficiently.

The elections, which were originally scheduled for May 10, did not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party was eager to let the voting go ahead by mail on the back of favorable polling numbers for incumbent President Andrzej Duda. A conflict with a minor coalition party, however, led to the delay.

Duda, a former MEP for the right-wing PiS, was polled to have over 50 percent support during the pandemic, while other candidates were unable to campaign on the ground due to the lockdown. A support rate of over 50 percent could normally hand him a second term without the need for a run-off election with any viable runner-up candidates.

However, poll results have tightened since, showing currently that Duda is heading for a second-round neck-and-neck contest. His main rival, polls show, is Mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski, who is endorsed by the main opposition party Civic Platform. Trzaskowski replaced Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska on May 15, after the party’s original candidate tanked in opinion polls.

The newly announced elections will be held traditionally with optional postal voting. The PKW can, at the request of the country’s health minister, mandate postal-only voting in districts where COVID-19 could cause health concerns.

Poland is one of the few countries in Europe where the curve of the pandemic has not been flattened. The Health Ministry confirmed by Wednesday a total of 24,545 COVID-19 cases in the country, with the death toll standing at 1,102.


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Mongolia’s election commission registers all opposition candidates for parliamentary elections




Mongolia’s General Election Commission (GEC) has officially registered all 76 people nominated by the opposition Democratic Party (DP) as candidates for the forthcoming parliamentary elections, the DP said Thursday.

More than 70 percent of the party’s candidates are newcomers who have never served as ministers or members of parliament, Tsend Baatarkhuu, secretary-general of the DP, told a press conference.

In addition, 46 percent of the party’s candidates are economists and financiers, and 33 percent are lawyers, said the official.

The opposition party will run in this year’s parliamentary elections under the slogan “Let’s allot the benefits of economic growth to every household and protect citizens by laws.”

Mongolia is expected to hold general elections on June 24.

Mongolia’s parliament is unicameral, consisting of 76 lawmakers each serving a four-year term.

The landlocked Asian country last held parliamentary elections in June 2016.


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Mongolia bars ex-president Enkhbayar from parliamentary elections




Mongolia has barred former President Nambar Enkhbayar from running for the upcoming parliamentary elections, local media reported on Wednesday, citing the country’s General Election Commission.

“The GEC rejected to register Enkhbayar as a candidate on the grounds that he had been convicted of graft and abuse of power,” the commission said in a statement.

The former president found guilty of graft in August 2012.

Enkhbayar, chairman of Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, was banned to stand for the presidential elections in 2017 on the same grounds as above.

He served as prime minister of Mongolia from 2000 to 2004, as speaker of the parliament from 2004 to 2005, and as president of Mongolia from 2005 to 2009.

Mongolia is expected to hold general elections on June 24.

Mongolia’s parliament is unicameral, consisting of 76 lawmakers each serving a four-year term.

The previous parliamentary elections in Mongolia were held in June 2016.


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Trump accuses Twitter of interfering in U.S. elections




Under the tweet came a circled exclamation mark followed by the message: “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” in a hyperlink.

The link takes readers to a Twitter fact-check page that debunks the claim.

“Trump falsely claims that mail-in ballots would lead to ‘a Rigged Election’.

“However, fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud,” the company said.

The move came after Twitter turned down a widower’s request to delete “horrifying lies” told by the president in a tweet about the death of his wife.

Rather, the social media giant, which had promised to warn its users about false or misleading messages posted on the platform, resorted to the use of the label on Trump.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Trump’s claim on the mail-in ballots followed his attacks, over the weekend, on the use of the voting method by several states, including California.

The states say they will use that option in November to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus disease that has taken a heavy toll on the country.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Burundian human rights commission says general elections held fairly




The Burundian National Independent Human Rights Commission on Saturday evening said the general elections on May 20 were held in a “good and fair” manner.

“I confirm that elections took place at a time when peace, security and human rights were respected,” said Sixte Vigny Nimuraba, chairman of the commission, in a press statement released in Burundi’s economic center Bujumbura.

Nimuraba urged security forces to continue being professional in protecting human rights as they did on the polling day. He also called on political competitors to respect results of the elections once they are released.

Burundi voters went to the polls on Wednesday to elect a new president, members of the National Assembly, and district councillors. According to the agenda of the National Independent Electoral Commission, provisional results for the three polls are expected to be published on May 26.

Agathon Rwasa, a major challenger to the ruling party in the elections, on Thursday rejected provisional results released earlier in the day by a dozen of district electoral commissions, a small portion of the total 119 commissions nationwide, which showed the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) gained a large victory in the three elections.

The presidential candidate and chairman of the opposition National Council for Liberty party said the results are a “fantasy,” arguing he has evidence that he and his party win in those districts.

Burundi plunged into crisis in April 2015 when the current president, Pierre Nkurunziza from CNDD-FDD, decided to run his controversial third term bid, which he won in July 2015. His candidature, which was opposed by the opposition and civil society groups, resulted in a wave of protests, violence and even a failed coup in May 2015.

The overall security of Burundi has improved, and the current situation is generally stable.


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France to hold delayed 2nd round of municipal elections on June 28




France has decided to organize the delayed second round of mayoral elections on June 28, which Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Friday is “reversible” if the coronavirus epidemic situation turns against it.

“On May 27, we will present a decree calling voters to the polls on June 28,” Philippe said at a joint press conference with Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.

Of France‘s 35,000 cities, towns and villages, about 30,000 already elected their mayors in the first round on March 15. But many large cities are among those remaining, including Paris, Lyon and Marseille, according to state-owned broadcaster France 24.

The second round of mayoral elections was originally planned on March 22, but the worsening coronavirus outbreaks and the anti-coronavirus lockdown had forced the French government to postpone it.

Philippe admitted that consultations with opposition representatives did not reach consensus but the government has to take responsibility and “the democratic life should resume.”

However, if the epidemic unfortunately rebounds, the polls will be postponed until next January at the latest, he added. The opinion of the government’s scientific advisory council will be heard two weeks ahead of the scheduled voting.

Castaner announced that wearing a mask and washing hands with hydroalcoholic gel would be compulsory for voting on June 28 and this material will be supplied by the communities assisted by the State.

As of Thursday, France‘s death toll from coronavirus topped 28,000 while new infections and patients in intensive care continued to decrease. Since May 11, the country has gradually eased restriction measures on business activities and people’s movement with the aim to relaunch the hard-hit economy.


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