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Electoral Integrity And Democratic Transition: What The 2015 General Election In Nigeria Means To The International Community

Democracy
Elections
Franklins Sanubi
Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria
Franklins Sanubi
Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria

Abstract

There were no less than 107 independent observer groups officially accredited by Nigeria’s electoral body to monitor the nation’s 2015 general elections. It was a mix of individuals representing several African and international interests notably the EU and America, This is probably unprecedented in Africa’s democratic experience. This study attempts to investigate the phenomenon and provide probable arguments for the massive interest of the international community in ensuring that Nigeria not only achieves high electoral integrity during the 2015 general election but also a peaceful, yet unique democratic transition from a seating civilian government to a democratically-elected opposition-led government. The paper observes that, beyond the rhetoric of altruism and the desire to sustain democracy in Nigeria, the great involvement of the international community in the whole election affairs in the period leading to, during and after the 2015 general elections in Nigeria, is borne out of a multi-spherical strategic economic and security interests by various African and non-African actors among other consideration. It also sees the electoral innovations in the 2015 elections as an advance in the nation’s electoral integrity and suggests that the new government in Nigeria should sustain and deepen these reforms in order to increase the nation’s growing democratic profile in the international community.