The United Kingdom (UK) has urged Nigeria to swiftly pass and implement the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, which is currently before the National Assembly.
The advice was provided by the United Kingdom’s Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Mr. Duddridge said that passing the amendment bill would increase confidence in the country’s democratic process.
Trust in election outcomes, he believes, is critical to democratic governance.
“It is extremely significant. I will speak with the Senate and inquire when the Electoral Act Amendment Bill will be passed.
“You know, democracy isn’t something that exists in a vacuum. It must evolve; elections must become increasingly safe.
“As a result, I believe it is critical to enact legislation that will give the Nigerian people and the international community greater trust that the elections will be free, fair, and representative of what the people voted for.
“If you don’t have it in fact or belief, democracy begins to collapse, and we’ll see where that leads.”
“Democracy, along with a capitalist free market, is the key pillar that drives social change and helps us to function,” he said.
According to him, one of the components that fosters confidence in the electoral process is the electronic transmission of results, which ensures that the final results announced conform to each of the local results.
He stated that, while the UK was interested in seeing Nigeria’s democracy strengthen, it could only serve as a consultant and not tell Nigeria what to do.
“We will provide practical guidance on electoral processes, collaborating with Non-Governmental Organizations and youth groups to ensure that young people are not only more likely to vote for elections, but that their voices are heard as well.
“We have members of parliament in their twenties in the UK parliament, and it is the better for it.
“We don’t want a legislature full of 20-year-olds. Similarly, we do not want a parliament full of people in their 70s and 80s.
“We need a balance to represent society, and everyone brings unique experiences,” he said.