Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, on Monday welcomed the nomination of Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, as a laudable and necessary step towards putting in place the necessary structures for the 2019 general elections.
TMG, however, called for a thorough and transparent screening process “to ensure that persons of questionable characters or politically exposed persons do not find their way into the commission and undermine the progress the commission has made in recent times in getting the right personnel for managing elections and its independence.”
Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, TMG chairperson, in a statement on Monday, further expressed concern about gender bias and issues relating to the parameters for nominating persons for such position.
“It is important that nominations are not left at the prerogative of chief executives of states or other considerations where the allegiance of its beneficiaries are not to a transparent and credible electoral management process but to the biddings of their benefactors”.
The statement added that TMG was taken aback by the total lack of gender balance in the nominations, stating that, “only two women nominations out of the 29 RECs, a far cry from the required 35% affirmative action, pledged in the National Gender Policy towards gender integration in public life in the country.”
“This singular act goes a long way to undermine the progress made so far in engendering women’s participation in electoral processes and democracy.’
“The absence of women on the management and decision making structure of the commission could have far reaching implications for the participation of women in future elections as key processes and reforms within the commission might not adequately capture or reflect any considerations for women.
“It is not too late to correct this anomaly she added as TMG calls on the Presidency to take the necessary steps to immediately address the situation.
”TMG called for a timely consideration and conclusion of the much-needed reforms in the constitution and electoral act as regards the conduct of elections as we approach the 2019 general elections adding that, “this will enable all stakeholders including political parties to internalise the new provisions and prepare adequately for the elections.”