n African Renaissance - How credible were the Nigerian 2015 general elections? An "electoral integrity" framework of analysis

Volume 12 Number 3-4
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


Electoral integrity as a conceptual framework has become a major tool used by election researchers and practitioners to measure the degree of freeness and fairness of elections in contemporary democracies. In the framework popularised by the Electoral Integrity Project, the credibility of elections are measured according to the following eleven criteria: electoral laws; electoral procedures; boundaries; voter registration; party registration; campaign media; campaign finance; voting process; vote count; post-election matters; and electoral management. In light of these indicators, I analyse the integrity of Nigeria's 2015 general elections. This follows the many positive remarks by local and international observers, as well as the media, concerning the outcome of the elections. Rather than following the non-empirical and non-systematic judgements that followed the elections, I provide an expert analysis of the extent to which the elections can be adjudged as free and fair. Thus, the relevant indicators from the electoral integrity framework are used to analyse the 2015 general elections and establish the veracity of claims that the elections were credible or not. Ultimately, it is expected - with this research - that Nigerian election researchers can be exposed to issues around conceptualisation and operationalization of election quality and how relevant they are to making conclusions about the integrity of elections in Nigeria.

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