“I call upon authorities and national stakeholders to work together to ensure a level playing field and to create an environment conducive to the holding of peaceful, inclusive and credible elections in 2019 in Benin, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Nigeria and Senegal.”
The United Nations (UN) Scribe noted that there has been incremental improvement in the conduct of elections in the region, adding that, “however, the pre-and post-electoral periods have often been characterised by antagonistic contestations and disputes’.
Penpushing also reports that, Guterres said: “In Nigeria, tensions have been rising ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections of 16 February 2019, and of the gubernatorial and state assembly elections of 2 March 2019″.
The United Nations (UN) Scribe noted that, concerns were raised by the alleged instrumentalisation of security forces in recent gubernatorial elections, pointing out that there were also concerns in the surge in alleged vote buying.
He said, the challenges related to the ability of internally displaced persons to participate in the polls amid ongoing terrorism and violence between farmers and herders is also a concern, noting also what he termed “a series of high-profile defections” from one political party to the other in the country.
“In his capacity as my High-level Representative for Nigeria, my Special Representative continued consultations with key national stakeholders to promote an environment conducive to peaceful general elections in 2019’.
“My Special Representative initiated and participated in a joint pre-electoral mission to Nigeria with ECOWAS and the African Union from 29 to 31 October. During the mission, he consulted with the President, the Office of the Inspector-General, senior military officials, civil society organisations and other key actors and institutions,” Guterres said.