AU names Uhuru head of election observation mission in Nigeria
The African Union (AU) has appointed retired Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to head the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) to Nigeria ahead of the country's general election slated for February 25, 2023.
In a statement on Tuesday, February 14, the African Union Commission (AUC) said the short-term election observation mission comprises 90 members drawn from various AU Member States comprising representatives of Election Management Bodies, civil society organisations, independent experts, women and youth.
The team also includes members from AU organs, notably, the Pan African Parliament and Permanent Representatives Committee. The AUEOM is supported by a team of experts from the AUC.
According to AU, the objectives of the missions are to provide an accurate and impartial assessment of the electoral process, including the degree to which the conduct of the elections meets regional, continental and international standards for democratic elections; offer recommendations for improvement of future elections based on the findings; and demonstrate AU’s solidarity and support towards consolidation of democracy, peace, stability and development in Nigeria.
During the polling period, AUEOM is expected to engage with various stakeholders as well as observe the polling process and based on the findings issue its preliminary statement on the electoral process in Abuja on February 27, 2023.
"The Mission draw its mandate from various AU instruments, most importantly: (a) the 2002 African Union Guidelines for Elections Observation and Monitoring Missions; (b) the 2002 OUA/AU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa; 1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and (c) the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; and Aspiration No. 3 of the AU Agenda 2063, which aims to ensure an Africa of good governance, democracy and respect for human rights, justice and rule of law, among others," AU said.
Uhuru retired in October last year after a 10-year term in office.
This is the second major assignment he will undertake after his appointment by President William Ruto to head peace talks in the East Africa Community (EAC) region last year.