The declaration phase covers the final announcement of the winning party/candidate plus subsequent challenges and petitions.
The system is not complete until all stakeholders are in agreement that a fair and democratic process has been followed.
Firstly the announcement must be reflective of the actual result – there should be no last minute opportunities to decide to ignore everything that happened till now.
Challenges and petitions that do arise must be dealt with objectively and within a meaningful legal framework – one that represents everything that the system should stand for and one that cannot be corrupted or distorted by individual or party interference.
“Another great encourager of rigging is the astonishing idea that the Governor or President whose election was annulled, but who subsequently won elections should regardless of the period they had spent before the annulment, begin a fresh term of 4 years once sworn in again after the new elections. This is a most perverse idea, especially because the period spent is a period in which all his acts are deemed valid. He signs contracts, binds the state, even takes a salary, why should a mere swearing-in after a fresh election have the effect of ignoring the legal situation immediately preceding it and create a new term?”
“Election day violence was followed by public protests in many states as INEC announced results mostly in favor of the PDP that in some cases were at odds with anticipated results. In some instances, INEC’s national headquarters announced results, whereas this responsibility was supposed to have fallen to the Residential Electoral Commissioners (REC), who served as chief returning officers for the gubernatorial elections. In Delta State, the results were declared in Abuja before the collation and counting of votes had finished in the state.”