U.S. has no Preferred Candidate in Nigeria's Presidential Poll: Official
The United States of America has officially announced that it has no preferred candidate in Nigeria’s upcoming presidential poll. At a press briefing on Sunday, US Deputy Secretary of State, John J. Sullivan, clarified that there was no bias in the US government’s position on the election.
US Official Statement
In his official statement, Sullivan remarked that: “We intend to act in a neutral and impartial fashion on the election in Nigeria. We’re there to work with the government and all parties to ensure the vote is credible and that the outcome is accepted by all stakeholders.”
U.S. Support for Nigerian Democratic Process
The US has made it clear that its interest is primarily in promoting a peaceful, credible and transparent democratic process in Nigeria. Sullivan stressed that the US is working to support the encouraging reform efforts of the Nigerian government, including efforts to revamp the electoral system.
He added that “the United States stands ready to work with the people of Nigeria and its government to pave the way for a credible, transparent and peaceful election in February 2019.”
Positive Changes for Guinea’s Election
Several important developments have already had a positive effect on the electoral process in Nigeria, such as:
- Re-scheduling of elections: The Nigerian Election Commission recently announced that the presidential and other elections originally due to take place in February 2019 will be held a month later, on March 2.
- Encouraging Political Participation: Encouraged by the government’s reform efforts, the number of candidates running for president stands at 73, the highest since 1999.
- A Level Playing Field: The government has taken steps to ensure a fair election. This includes the publication of an updated voter register, the restraining of incumbents from using state apparatus for their campaigns, and the fairness of free media access.
The US has thus made it very clear that it has no vested interests in Nigeria’s upcoming presidential election and that it stands by the rule of law and the principles of transparency, neutrality, and fairness. The US government has expressed its support for the ongoing reforms in the Nigerian election system and has further urged all stakeholders to work together to ensure a peaceful, credible, and transparent election in 2019.
The United States has no preferred candidate in the upcoming Nigerian Presidential election, according to a top US official.
This announcement came from a US Department of State official, who was speaking on the sidelines of the US-Nigeria Binational Commission Meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
The US official declined to provide any further details, citing the need to respect the sovereignty of the Nigerian people in the election process.
The US position follows reports in some media outlets of an alleged diplomatic row between the two countries over the issue of a perceived American effort to influence the outcome of the election.
The official reiterated that the United States will work closely with whatever government is elected in Nigeria, stressing that the relationship between the two countries is longstanding and mutually beneficial.
The upcoming Nigerian Presidential election is scheduled to take place on February 16, 2019. Nigerian citizens will have the opportunity to choose between a number of candidates, and the United States wishes Nigeria the best in its electoral process.