KEY FINDINGS OF REPORTING PERIOD ONE
Summary and Recommendation
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed November 18, 2017 as the date for election into the Office of the Governor of Anambra state. This is the fifth governorship election the electoral commission will conduct since the 2015 general elections. According to INEC, a total number of 2, 158, 171 registered voters are expected to participate in the elections. 50.3% of registered voters are females while 49.6% are males signaling a high level of women participation in the electoral process. Students constitute the highest number of registered voters with 48% representation in the register. 37 candidates from 37 political parties are in the race for the governorship seat. This is the first time in the history of elections that a total number of 37 candidates will be contesting for the governorship seat in an election.
The Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) WatchingTheVote pre-election observation project leverages the presence of locally recruited and well trained #WTV election observers in all the 21 LGAs of Anambra State to observe Anambra 2017 governorship pre-election environment. This report is the first in series four (4) to be released by YIAGA in the build-up to the election.
The #WTV pre-election observers will remain deployed between September 27 to November 9, 2017. The major findings from this observation effort are minimal visibility of voter education activities across the 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs); ongoing campaigns by major political parties in local government; hate speeches against candidates on the basis of their gender, age and faith and campaigns devoid of violence in almost all LGAs observed.
Based on the findings, YIAGA recommends that:
- The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Orientation Agency (NOA), Political parties, media and civil society with a mandate to provide voter information should intensify voter education campaigns across the 21 LGAs
- INEC leadership should ensure adequate monitoring and supervision of its planned voter education programs at the local government level
- All election stakeholders should ensure voter education campaigns or political empowerment programs are targeted at women, youth and persons living with disability to increase their participation in the electoral process.
- Finally, YIAGA encourages candidates, media houses and citizens to continue to abstain from using hate speeches or incendiary language as election day approaches.
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