Nigerian Electoral Reform Conference

Electoral Reform: Building Confidence for Our Future

Summary

Picture: Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar
Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar
Picture: One of the speakers addresses the group assembled at the Yar'Adua Centre.
Professor Peter Lewis addresses the assembled dignitaries

The Shehu Musa Yar'Adua Centre and the AU's Center for Democracy and Election Management, convened the Conference on Electoral Reform: Building Confidence for Our Future, March 17-19, 2005 in Abuja. The conference included keynote remarks by President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar, along with participation by the Speaker of the House, Senators, Hon. Representatives, and state Governors.

Dozens of civil society organizations were represented, including the core groups engaged in electoral reform, advocacy on governance and human rights, gender equity, legal reform, and conflict resolution. Representatives from the major political parties also participated.

Roundtable sessions produced specific recommendations for the reform of election administration and law, changes within the political parties, approaches to ending the competitive spiral of electoral misconduct, and strategies for alleviating violence and conflict.

The deliberations of the Conference provided the basis for a Plan of Action for reforms to encourage free, fair, and violence-free elections in 2007.

The Conference also articulated the basis of a Statement of Principles for public circulation to government, political parties, candidates and political professionals. All parties and stakeholders in the electoral process are invited to publicly endorse these essential Principles of political conduct, and to commit their efforts to uphold and advance the best practices of fair political competition.