INEC To Look Into Diaspora Vote For Nigeria’s 2015 Elections

The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has promised to look into the issue of Nigerians in the diaspora taking part in the electorial process.

Jega made the comments during a recent visit by the Indonesian High Commissioner to Nigeria Sudirman Haseng, to the commission.

The INEC chairman assured the Indonesian Ambassador that recommendations had already been made to the legislature to make Nigeria’s electoral law more inclusive to accommodate Nigerians who live abroad.

“We are hopeful that our recommendation will be taken on board. It is good to know that Indonesia does it, because we are looking out for the best model that can be adapted to our country when the time comes.”

Currently, Indonesian citizens living abroad can take part in the country’s elections from anywhere in the world, although this right is only limited to voting for the country’s Jakarta constituency.

The Indonesian envoy invited the INEC Chairman to come and observe Indonesians living in Nigeria partake in the forthcoming parliamentary elections on the 5th and 6th of April.

The voting is part of the parliamentary elections taking place in Indonesia on the 9th of April.

Responding, the INEC chair told the envoy, “In Nigeria, we are doing our best to open up our system for citizens in the diaspora to be able to vote.”

“Unfortunately, there are presently legal inhibitions because our laws prohibit diaspora voting. But there is a provision in our law that requires every eligible person to cast ballot at the polling unit where he/she registered.”

“The implication of the provision is that people in diaspora would have to come home to register and vote where they registered.”

Currently, Indonesian citizens living abroad can take part in the country’s elections from anywhere in the world. The Indonesian envoy invited the INEC Chairman to come and observe Indonesians living in Nigeria partake in the forthcoming parliamentary elections on the 5th and 6th of April.

Jega agreed that Nigeria has a lot to learn from the country’s electoral experience.

Indonesia has a population of 240 million, out of which 180 million are eligible voters.

 

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