Political party

2023: We don’t have a preferred candidate or political party – US Govt

The Government of the United States, through its Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria, has stated that its government does not under any circumstances endorse any candidate or political party for the upcoming 2023 general election.

Rolf Olson, the embassy’s political adviser, said this at the HHF Alumni Association Annual Seminar 2022, which was held on Friday, November 18, 2022.

Olson, who spoke on behalf of Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, made clear the US government’s position ahead of the 2023 general election, noting that reports of the endorsement of any candidate or political party by the US government on social media a few weeks ago was not true.

He said, “The United States does not support any individual candidate or party in this election cycle or, for that matter, in any future election.”

The government’s interest is to ensure that the processes preceding the elections and after the announcement of the results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are free, fair and credible.

“Our interest is in supporting credible and transparent elections that reflect the will of Nigerian voters in a peacefully conducted process. Full stop,” he said.

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As political activity heats up, Olson agreed that recent events in the country are leaning toward more political violence and an unpatriotic use of language, both of which are capable of jeopardizing the country’s democratic future.

“We expect all Nigerians to reject the use of violence and inflammatory rhetoric before, during and after Election Day,” he said. When we say “all” Nigerians, we mean all: politicians, candidates, students, leaders of religious, traditional, community, youth and business organizations and entities.everybody has a role to play in this effort.

However, seeing the amount of damage caused by spoilers, he advised anyone with a stake in the upcoming general election to try “to eliminate the use of violence and inflammatory rhetoric”.

He added that in the past, the United States government has used visa denial as punishment for anyone found guilty of compromising the future of the country’s democratic processes through the use of violence.

“Individuals seeking to undermine the democratic process, including through violence, may be deemed ineligible for visas to the United States,” he said.

Olson further promised to apply this measure to anyone suspected of using violence to undermine the democratic process.

Perhaps knowing how politically charged the atmosphere is, he indicated that it is essential that candidates and their parties, as well as all their supporters seeking to help them win the election, refrain from brazen assertions. of victory suggesting that defeat is only possible if there is fraud.

“There is no real democratic election whose outcome is predicted,” he noted, referring to situations in the United States where some candidates were confident of winning only to end up losing.