Nigerians in Diaspora to vote in 2011

Abuja – THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has hinted on the possibility of extending voting rights to Nigerians living abroad in the next general election, in deference to a recent court decision. Before now, it has not been possible for Nigerians in Diaspora to vote in the country’s democratic process.

While receiving a delegation from Angola led by that country’s Vice Minister for Territorial Administration and Electoral Matters, Edeltrudes Costa in Abuja yesterday, INEC Chairman, Prof. Maurice Iwu, said the consideration followed a recent court pronouncement in Nigeria on the need to give Nigerians outside the country the right to participate in the country’s electoral process.

Costa said his team was at the Commission to understudy how Nigeria conducted the 2007 elections that produced President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, noting that Angola was also desirous of having such a successful transition.

The INEC chief told his visitors that certain legal considerations forced the Commission to stop electronic voting because INEC did not want to play into the hands of mischief makers who were looking for an opportunity to foment trouble. But nevertheless, he said, the commission had been mandated to take steps towards enabling Nigerians in the Diaspora to participate in future elections, adding that INEC was already studying how to implement the directive.

source – the guardian

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