By Tunde Joshua,
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has advised the 18 registered political parties to avoid rancorous primaries but ensure their candidates must emerge from valid primaries.
The Commission also reminded them that the June 3 deadline for conduct of all primaries is sacrosanct as INEC will not extend the time lag.
Barrister Festus Okoye, National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee on Thursday said “the deadline remains Friday 3rd June 2022. While urging the parties to ensure rancour-free and transparent exercise, the Commission reiterates that the deadline is firm and fixed.”
Given the importance of the exercise to the emergence of candidates for the various elective positions for the 2023 General Election, he said it is imperative to remind political parties that they have barely one month to conclude their primaries.
Okoye in a statement said “in compliance with section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, all 18 political parties have served the required notices indicating the dates for their conventions, congresses, and primaries to nominate candidates for various elective offices as specified in the Constitution and the Electoral Act. Some of the parties have already commenced the process for which the Commission has deployed staff to monitor the exercise as required by law.”
He added that “nominations for Presidential and National Assembly elections shall be submitted through the INEC web portal from 10th to 17th June 2022 while Governorship and State Houses of Assembly nominations shall be submitted between 1st and 15th July 2022. The Trumpet Gathered
“Political parties are further reminded that they must submit to the Commission the list of candidates who must have emerged from valid primaries.”
According to him, the Commission will continue to work with political parties to ensure fidelity to the Constitution, the Electoral Act, and the timelines for all the activities contained in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.
Recall that on 26th February 2022, the Commission released the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election. It provides for parties to conduct their primaries for the nomination of candidates from 4th April to 3rd June 2022.