THE United Kingdom has promised to watch closely the conduct of individuals and political parties during the 2023 general elections in the country.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, gave the assurance yesterday during a meeting with members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja.
She added that the UK would impose visa restrictions on promoters of violence in the election.
The envoy also declared that Britain would not support any presidential candidate or party in next year’s elections.
The British had twice in the past threatened to impose visa restrictions on troublemakers and other individuals trying to undermine the 2023 elections.
Laing said: “That is a real concern and we want to exchange our thoughts on what you can do as a political party to ensure that the elections are as peaceful as possible.
“When people feel intimidated, they can’t get out to vote; the election itself will not be credible. That is why violence is of great concern.
“We will also be watching closely any individual who acts violently or incites people through social media. We do have the possibility of using our visas as sanctions by removing people’s rights to visit the UK.
“We will be watching closely. This applies to all the political parties; not just the parties, but security officials and anybody who might be in that position.
“The important thing is to get the votes out, whatever political party you are. The election will be credible if the votes are high. It was low last time — around 35 percent.”