2023: US Speaks On Preferred Presidential Candidate, Threatens Sanctions
The United States Government has said it has no preferred candidate in the 2023 general election.
The Political Counselor at the American Embassy in Nigeria, Rolf Olson, made this known on Thursday at the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Association Annual Seminar 2022 in Abuja.
Olson also disclosed that the US would not support any political party or interfere in the forthcoming elections that will be conducted by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He expressed the support of the American government for the deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and electronic transmission of results for the election by INEC.
Olson affirmed that the BVAS and the electronic transmission of vote results sheets were to ensure the integrity of the 2023 election, condemning the criticisms directed at INEC and its officials in recent months.
He said, “The United States does not support any individual candidate or party in this election cycle (or for that matter, in any other upcoming election). Our interest is in supporting credible and transparent elections that reflect the will of Nigerian voters, in a process that is conducted peacefully. Full stop.’’
US Threatens Sanctions
Olson said the US government would impose sanctions, including visa restrictions on anyone who interferes with the democratic process or instigates violence in the 2023 general election.
He, therefore, advised political parties, candidates, and their supporters to avoid language that might undermine the success of the 2023 elections.
He warned: “Individuals seeking to undermine the democratic process, including through violence, may be found ineligible for visas to the United States. We have imposed visa restrictions in the past against those responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process, and remain fully willing to do so again in the context of the upcoming elections.”