The European Commission has appointed Maria Arena as Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Nigeria for the 2019 general elections.
Ms Arena, a member of the European Parliament from Belgium, was appointed by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission.
The deployment of the EU Election Observation Mission followed an invitation by the Independent National Electoral Commission, the EU’s mission in Nigeria said in a statement.
“The EU is committed to support Nigeria’s path towards stronger democracy and further political stability, building on the 2015 general elections,” Mogherini was quoted as saying.
“I am confident that the deployment of an EU EOM under the leadership of Chief Observer Maria Arena, will contribute to an inclusive and transparent electoral process.”
The Chief Observer, Maria Arena, said she was hopeful that their observation will provide a meaningful contribution to the electoral and democratic process in Nigeria.
The EU has consistently accompanied electoral processes and deployed an EOM to Nigeria’s general elections since 1999, reflecting its long-term commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country.
The Election Observation Mission Core Team of eleven EU election analysts arrived in Nigeria on January 4 and will stay in the country until the completion of the electoral process.
Later in January the Core Team will be joined by 40 long-term observers who will be deployed across the country.
Shortly after both election days, the mission will issue preliminary statements at press conferences in Abuja.
A final report, including recommendations for future electoral processes, will be presented at a later stage, after the finalisation of the electoral process.