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Electoral Reform in Nigeria: Drawing on Health Partnership Successes

The Carter Center has deep roots in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and one plagued by poisonous politics. Jimmy Carter’s 1978 visit was the first time a U.S. president visited an African state. The Carter Center has worked there since 1988 to eradicate or control neglected diseases like Guinea worm and river blindness. In 1999, the Center observed the presidential election, but our team was dismayed by blatant ballot stuffing and other corrupt practices by all sides and concluded that the process was so badly marred by widespread fraud that it was impossible to make an accurate assessment of the outcome. In subsequent years, as political conditions worsened, the Center declined to accept invitations to observe Nigeria’s national elections in 2003 and 2007.

John Stremlau speaks at Brown University

Carter Center Vice President for Peace Programs John Stremlau addressed a recent conference on electoral reform in Nigeria convened by Chinua Achebe at Brown University.  The conference, which highlighted the relevance of international election principles and standards for improving Nigeria’s upcoming state and national elections, drew on lessons from the Center’s successful partnership with Nigerians to advance public health in local communities throughout the nation.  Watch his remarks here (17:15):

Posted in Democracy, Elections, Guinea Worm Disease Eradication, Nigeria

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    John Hewes on February 9, 2010 at 2:27 am

    A fascinating and informative speaker! I understand now, more of the Carter Center model. Work as an honored team member, rather than barge in and try to push your weight around! The Carter Center’s work with health issues in Nigeria will lead to a better government and a better life for all Nigerians. It will also open the door for more influence concerning Nigeria’s political process. The trust and rapport established by the Carter Center will yield results in so many ways! I am proud to support such efforts!

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