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US government reaffirms visa ban for politicians who rig elections

2023: US government reaffirms visa ban on politicians who rig election

The United States government has reaffirmed its position on Nigeria’s 2023 elections, threatening sanctions and visa restrictions on politicians who plan to interfere with democratic processes or incite violence.

The United States also supported the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to roll out the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and electronic transmission of results.

Political Counselor at the United States Embassy in Nigeria, Rolf Olson, spoke on behalf of the United States Government at the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Association 2022 Annual Seminar on “Promoting the ‘Electoral Integrity in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges’ in Abuja on Monday, November 21.

Olson maintained that the United States government does not have a candidate in the next election.

Commenting on the 2023 election, he said: “It never ceases to amaze me how often we see comments, claims and assertions from people on social and traditional media about our supposed goals in the elections, whatever candidate or party we favor, how to interpret some of our statements or actions based on what our intentions mean are perceptions.

“Actually, I think it’s pretty simple to interpret us, especially when it comes to elections. We always try to be clear in our messaging, so let me be clear here on several important points:

“The United States does not support any individual candidate or party in this election cycle (or for that matter, in any upcoming election). Our interest is in supporting credible and transparent elections that reflect the will of Nigerian voters, in a peacefully conducted process Complete shutdown Individuals seeking to undermine the democratic process, including through violence, may be denied visas to the United States.

“We have imposed visa restrictions in the past against those responsible or complicit in undermining the democratic process, and remain fully prepared to do so again in the context of the upcoming elections.”

He advised parties, candidates and their supporters to avoid language that tries to “guarantee” victory, adding that there is no real democratic election in which the outcome is predicted.

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