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2023: INEC warns political parties against non-compliance with timetable

2023: INEC warns political parties against non-compliance with timetable

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued a fresh warning to political parties against undermining its guidelines on the 2023 General Elections.

In a statement on Tuesday by its spokesperson, the commission said it would not tolerate any attempt by political parties to ignore constitutionally-allowed processes in the nomination of its candidates as they prepare for the primary elections.

Since the INEC announced the changes in the dates for the country’s general poll in February and rolled out its schedule of activities, only two out of the 14 activities in its timetable have so far been executed.

The two activities are the publication of notice of elections in states and nomination forms on the commission’s official website.

As stipulated in Section 84 of the Electoral Act, all political parties have a period of 61 days, from April 4 till June 3, to present their flag bearers for presidential, governorship, state and national legislative seats in the coming election.

While INEC has fixed February 25, 2023 for the presidential and national assembly elections, the governorship and state assembly elections will hold on March 11.

The commission said candidates for the “1,491 constituencies for which elections will be conducted must emerge from democratic, transparent and valid primaries, in line with the provisions of Sections 29 and 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022.”

The statement added: “Where a political party fails to comply with the provisions of the Act in the conduct of its primaries, its candidate shall not be included in the election for the particular position in issue.

“As required by law, the Commission shall monitor the primaries of each political party that provides the required legal notice in line with Sections 82 (1) and (5) of the Electoral Act. Failure of a political party to notify the Commission of any convention or congress convened for the purpose of nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified in the Act shall render the convention or congress invalid.

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“Primaries must be conducted in the various constituencies as provided in Section 84 of the Electoral Act as it is a violation of the law to conduct primaries outside the constituencies for which parties are nominating candidates. The Commission will not monitor such primaries and their outcome will not be accepted.”

Parties gunning for consensus

With political parties settling into the primary election season, in line with the timetable, many aspirants have indicated their plan to run for different positions on their platforms while others are still consulting.

Although the two major parties – All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – are yet to zone the presidency, some of their members have formally declared their interest in the position.

Among those who have formally declared their intention to run for president on the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, former Imo State governor and serving senator, Rochas Okorocha, and the governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi.

There are speculations that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi; former Abia governor and serving senator, Orji Uzor Kalu; and the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, will join the race.

In the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, two former Senate President, Pius Anyim and Bukola Saraki, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Publisher of Ovation magazine, Dele Momodu, a renowned pharmacist, Sam Ohuabunwa and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State are among those that have indicated their plan to contest for the presidency.

Some of the aspirants are already pushing for consensus candidates ahead of their primary elections.

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Source: Culled From Premium Times.

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