As part of its plan to observe the entire Anambra Governorship election process, Yiaga Africa through its Watching The Vote project has concluded the virtual training of citizen observers to observe the political party primary elections for the upcoming elections in the state. The training held on 8th June 2021 provided an avenue to dissect the political and security situation of Anambra state ahead of the November 6th Governorship election.
Speaking during the training led by Director of Program Cynthia Mbamalu, Program Manager, Paul James and Manager of the Knowledge Management and Learning, Safiya Bichi, Yiaga Africa revealed that it will be observing the political party primaries of the major political parties in Anambra state to provide information around adherence to party guidelines and the legal and regulatory framework for the primaries.
According to James, it is important that the organization provides oversight on political party primaries because political parties remain the only vehicle through which candidates emerge for an election. He said Yiaga Africa will be primarily adopting field observation where observers will deploy to the venues of party primaries to directly observe and document the entire process. The observers will report using a specialized checklist and will send information to the Yiaga Africa database for analysis.
“other methods that will be deployed for the observation is the desk review where the team will review media reports from credible sources while also conducting interviews with important stakeholders in the election”, he explained.
In her remark, Director of Programs, Cynthia Mbamalu lauded observers for their sacrifice and contributions towards credible elections in Nigeria. She urges the observers to remain independent and non-partisan at all times during their engagement with Yiaga Africa.
Section 87 of the electoral act (2010 as amended), and the INEC’s guidelines for the conduct of political party primaries (2018), outlines the procedure for nomination of candidates for elections by political parties, this could be either through direct mode (party members nominate candidate directly) or indirect mode (delegates nominate party candidates). Political parties can also elect their candidates by consensus.
Based on INEC’s timetable for the elections in Anambra, the 18 registered political parties that are interested in fielding candidates for the election in Anambra are to conduct their primaries from June 10 through July 1, 2021.