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UK prepares to penalize electoral laws violators

UK prepares to penalize electoral laws violators

The UK Minister of State for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell MP, is ready to take legal action against anybody who participated in or incited electoral violence during the recently ended general elections, according to the British High Commission.

According to the commission, the UK was already compiling the names of those responsible and will impose consequences, “including excluding individuals from applying for UK visas or applying for sanctions under our human rights sanctions mechanism.”

The high commission confirmed that it was gathering pertinent data in order to take action against some people in a statement provided to our correspondent on Wednesday.

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The high commission, which said it deployed observers in six states, noted, “There were notable points of concern.  Members of our observation mission personally observed violence, and voter suppression in numerous voting locations. We witnessed and received credible reports from other observer missions and civil society organizations of vote buying and voter intimidation, the destruction and hijacking of election materials, and the general disruption of the process in numerous states including Lagos, Enugu and Rivers.

“In addition, we observed incidents of harassment of journalists. Freedom of speech and a free press is crucial for a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to go about their work without being threatened.

“The UK is concerned by the use of inflammatory ethnoreligious language by some public and political figures.  We call on all leaders not just to distance themselves from this kind of language, but to prevent those who speak on their behalf from doing so in this way.

“It is a testament to their commitment to democracy that many Nigerians were prepared to vote despite being faced with intimidation and hostility.

UK prepares to penalize electoral laws violators

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