Angolan Opposition Unites to Monitor Poll

Angolan opposition parties have announced a united front to monitor the August General Election.

“The opposition parties are working out ideas and in a few days we will sit down to shape the strategies for the common front,” said Mr Lindo Bernardo Tito, of the broad convergence for the salvation of Angola (CASA-CE).

CASA-CE emerged third in the last General Election in 2012.

Several civil society groups have also expressed their wish to work with the united opposition to ensure a credible poll.

An advantage

Human rights activist and university lecturer, Mr Domingos da Cruz, said they would on Friday unveil an online application to help people report any electoral irregularities.

“The fact that people will record all they observe in the electoral process in a safe way and send it anonymously, is an advantage,” Mr da Cruz added.

The Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita) deputy Secretary-General, Mr Rafael Massanga Savimbi, said his party would no longer do a lone monitoring as happened in the last two elections.

Party is ready

“Everybody heard our President (Isaias) Samakuva saying our party is ready not only to monitor, but also to win the elections,” VOA Radio quoted Mr Savimbi saying.

The August poll will be the third since the end of the Angolan civil war in 2002.

MPLA won elections in 1992, 2008 and 2012 with a parliamentary majority.

The embassies

The ruling party in 2012 secured 74 per cent of the vote against Unita’s 18 per cent.

There were no international observers for the elections.

None of the embassies represented in Luanda secured accreditation to monitor the elections.



Ondo Election: AD Warns INEC, Security Officers Against Manipulations

The Alliance for Democracy (AD) has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies against manipulating the results of the election in favour of any party, especially the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

According to the statement issued in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the Director General Olusola Oke campaign organization, Bola Ilori, said any attempt to manipulate the result of the election will be resisted by the good people of Ondo State, adding that the people of the state should be allowed to choose who rules them.

The statement reads: “While we as a party are prepared for the election, we will support anything that will aid the peaceful conduct of election. However, we will not fold our ?arms and allow our destinies to be determined by people who are not only political invaders but people who have subjected our people to untold hardship.

“Also, the security agencies should make sure they don’t take side. They should deal with anybody who forment trouble. Just like we have told our people, they should not allow anybody to dictate what they will do to them but make sure they keep vigil and defend their votes.”

“We are also aware of plans to cause trouble in Akoko Land, Ondo South senatorial district and other areas considered to be strongholds of AD. If President Muhammodu Buhari cannot deliver the dividends of democracy he promised the people, he should not cause chaos in the state. He should warn INEC and security agencies against enacting a replica of 1983 political crisis in the state.”

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Tied in New Polls

U.S Republican party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is tied with Donald Trump in new polls among likely voters released on Thursday night by CBS News/New York Times poll after a turbulent week battling health issues. According to the new polls, Trump and Clinton are locked at 42% among likely voters nationwide in a four-way race with Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein at 8% and 4% respectively.

Reports have it that enthusiasm among Democratic voters for Hillary Clinton has waned.

Area Council Polls: Police Restrict Movement In Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory commissioner of police, Wilson Inalegwu, has ordered the restriction of vehicular movement in the FCT between 7am and 4pm on April 9.

This is contained in a statement by the FCT Police Command spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, in Abuja on Thursday.

The statement said the restriction was to allow free and fair conduct of the rescheduled FCT Area Council elections.

“This is part of the security measures adopted by the Command to ensure safety and security during the elections,” Mr. Manzah, an assistant superintendent of police, said.

The statement said the restriction excluded vehicles on essential duty.

It assured FCT residents that the command had strategically deployed personnel and logistics to provide adequate security during the polls.

The statement further enjoined residents to be vigilant and cooperate with the police and other security agencies by reporting suspicious movements and activities.

NAN reports that the chairmanship and councillorship elections earlier scheduled for March 19 was rescheduled for April 9.

Credit: NAN

Bayelsa: PDP Vows Not To Accept Result If Election Not Free, Fair

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday said it would not accept anything short of free, fair and credible election in Saturday’s supplementary poll in the governorship election in Bayelsa.
This is contained in a statement signed by the party’s National Publicity S ecretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, and issued in Abuja.
The supplementary poll will be conducted in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area where the exercise was cancelled following widespread violence.
Metuh said that PDP had again rallied its formation in the state, particularly in Southern Ijaw, to use all means necessary in a democracy to resist any move to rig the supplementary election.
He claimed that Southern Ijaw was a well-known PDP stronghold and that the party would never accept any results that did not reflect the will of the people.
“Let it be known to all that the PDP is fully mobilised for Saturday’s supplementary election.
“Our members across Southern Ijaw have been stationed in every polling unit, every collation centre and every exit and entry point in the area, and have been directed to use all means available in a democracy to stop APC in its trail.
“Southern Ijaw Local Government is a well-known stronghold of the PDP and we will not in any way accept anything short of free, fair and credible election, abundantly reflecting the will of the people.
“Anything to the contrary will attract terrible consequences.
“We restate our resolve that never again would the PDP allow itself to be manipulated out in any election at any level, no matter the intimidation by the APC-led administration,’’ he said.
Metuh said that the party had called on its members and supporters not to leave the polling area after casting their votes but to remain alert within the distance provided by the law.
He also called on them to go ahead to use all means necessary to defend and protect their votes, should there be any attempt by anybody to rig the process.
“The PDP will intently monitor and keep records of activities, including all votes cast in every polling unit in Southern Ijaw and our members will not hesitate to unleash a legitimate anger, if at any point in collation, fictitious figures appear.”




PDP Sweeps Ekiti Council Polls

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP won all the 16 chairman­ship and 177 councilorship positions contested for in the local government elec­tions that held in the Ekiti State on Saturday.

The PDP candidates emerged victorious in the election conducted by the State Independent Elec­toral Commission, SIEC, which said five political parties indicated interest to participate in the poll.

The elected chairmen are expected to be inau­gurated today by the state governor after they might have received their Cer­tificates of Return from SIEC.

In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Idowu Adelusi, said all the new chairmen, party leaders, traditional rulers and guests of the chairmen were expected to attend the occasion.

This was as the gover­nor said the successful con­duct of the council election by his administration “is a promise made to the people that has been kept”.

The governor, who spoke in Afao-Ekiti yes­terday, described the use of caretaker committees to run local government system as an aberration, saying “the hallmark of a genuine democrat was al­lowing people to express their choice on who gov­erns them”.

Credit: NationalMirror

Tribunal Nullifies Reps’ Election, Orders Fresh Polls

The Elections Petitions Tribunal siting in Akure, Ondo State, has nullified the election of Victor Akinjo as member representing Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency of Ondo State.

The tribunal nullified the election and ordered fresh polls on the grounds that Mr. Akinjo was not a bona fide member of the Peoples Democratic Party at the time the election was held.

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ECOWAS Reacts Indifferently To Polls

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Election Observation Mission (EOM) described the Nigerian elections as free and transparent despite some incidents and logistical challenges. This is contained in it preliminary report after the regional bloc deployed a 250-member mission of long-term and short-term observers headed by former Ghanaian President John Kufuor.

According to the five-page preliminary report the “shortcomings” require remedial action by the authorities to further enhance the credibility of the electoral process. “Notwithstanding these shortcomings, the organization of the election can be considered as generally acceptable,” the Mission said in the 22-point Declaration.

The regional body highlighted card reader malfunctioning in some polling stations, especially in the finger print identification of voters resulting in the resort to the use of manual accreditation of voters, insufficient and non-availability of electoral material like ballot papers, indelible ink and incident forms in some polling stations, late arrival of electoral officials and material and delay in the voting process as some of the challenges. “The Mission regrets the violent incidents that occurred during the electoral process in some parts of the country which in some cases led to the loss of lives and expressed its condolences to members of the families of those who lost their lives.”

It commended the enthusiasm, maturity, patience and sense of civic responsibility demonstrated by the electorate, and expressed the hope that the same spirit of respect for order and discipline will characterize the rest of the electoral process.

It noted the generally high voter turnout, with voters displaying commendable level of patience, discipline and organization and laudable participation of women and young people, and urged voters to maintain their high sense of responsibility and tolerance during the remaining election period.

Credit: CAJ News

134 000 Corps Members to Participate in Polls

The Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Johnson Olawumi has said that about 134 000 corps members have registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be used in the conduct of  the forthcoming election.

Olawumi  explained that although at the end of the exercise, about 168 000 corps members registered to participate in the poll, among them were 34 000 of the Batch A who had passed out on February 19 and will not participate as corps members but ad hoc staff of INEC.

“INEC asked interested corps members who want to participate in the election to register online. At the end of the registration, there were about 168 000 registered.

“We always have three batches of corps members and because the election was slated then for February 14, the Batch A of last year that registered and were supposed to participate in the election passed out February 19.

Our plan initially was that they would participate in the process but when the election was postponed, we saw that we could not keep them or we would violate the NYSC Act. They numbered about 34 000”.

Credit: NAN

Schools to Remain Open During Election

The federal government has directed that all schools from the primary to the tertiary level should remain open during the general elections. The decision was reached at a meeting between the federal government and the 36 states Commissioners for Education, including the F.C.T. Education Secretary.

The meeting presided over by the Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, agreed that no holiday should be declared for the elections considering the fact that schools have lost much ground following their closure to prevent the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

Shekarau promised the state governments to ensure that adequate security are provided for boarding institutions marked as polling units for the elections.

Read More: Punch

Hillary Clinton Could Be Next American President

Seventy-three percent of Americans expect to see a female president in their lifetime, even as men are expected to maintain their dominant role in business, a survey published Wednesday said.

The Washington-based Pew Research Center interviewed 1,835 adults online in November to get a sense of how Americans view women and leadership today.

Most respondents felt there was no difference between men and women when it came to leadership qualities like intelligence and capacity for innovation.

But when asked to explain the shortage of female political leaders, 28 per cent of men and 47 per cent of women said women were being held to higher standards than men.

In the business realm, the proportion who said women were judged more harshly than their male counterparts was even higher: a third of men and just over half of women.

That said, nearly three-quarters of those polled said they thought the United States would elect a female president in their lifetime. Just one in five respondents disagreed.

Women who support the Democratic party were the most enthusiastic about a woman in the White House — amid speculation that Hillary Clinton might run again for president in 2016.

Violence Escalates Ahead of Polls

Campaign-related violence escalated across Sri Lanka ahead of next week’s elections as President Mahinda Rajapakse fights an unexpectedly tough battle to remain in power, poll monitors and police said Saturday.

The private Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) monitoring group said it had received 1,073 complaints since campaigning got underway in early December.

Police said they had received a much smaller number of complaints, but that 130 arrests had been made.

A deputy minister and 13 other elected representatives are among those who have been arrested in connection with 245 complaints of violence, police spokesman Ajith Rohana said.

CaFFE said the increasing violence was well organised and target the opposition, which is mounting a serious challenge against two-term incumbent Rajapakse.

“We are seeing a trend of increasing violence,” CaFFE director Keerthi Tennakoon said. “The violence is well organised. It is almost always directed against the opposition’s campaign.”

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