Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 8th February 2010.

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Photo of Keith Simpson Keith Simpson Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government plans to provide assistance to the gubernatorial elections in Anambra, Nigeria; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The UK is not providing direct assistance to gubernatorial elections in Anambra on 6 February 2010, but is, through the Department for International Development (DFID), supporting civil society involved in election-monitoring and voter education in the state, and is also helping to build the capacity of the local media in order to encourage objective reporting of the elections.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary joined US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and EU High Representative Baroness Ashton in expressing hope that the election in Anambra will be a milestone in Nigeria's journey towards electoral reform and a signal of Nigeria's commitment to the principles of democracy.

The UK is also working hard to encourage transparent elections in Nigeria, and to improve democratic governance more broadly, including through the DFID's Deepening Democracy in Nigeria and Democratic Governance for Development programmes, funded in partnership with the European Commission, Canadian International Development Agency and UN Development Programme.

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