2023: INEC warns political parties on primaries

INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

By Emmanuel Oloniruha

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has again advised political parties to adhere to the timeline for the conduct of their primaries for the 2023 general elections.

INEC, in a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, in Abuja on Thursday stated that the deadline for primaries is firm and fixed.

Okoye recalled that the Commission, on Feb. 26, released the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 General Elections which provided for parties to conduct their primaries for the nomination of candidates from April 4 to June 3.

He said that in compliance with section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, all 18 political parties had served the required notices indicating the dates for their conventions, congresses and primaries.

The programmes are for the purpose of nominating candidates for various elective offices as specified in the constitution and the Electoral Act.

Okoye added that some of the parties had already commenced the process while INEC deployed staff to monitor the exercise as required by law.

“Given the importance of the exercise to the emergence of candidates for the various elective positions for the 2023 General Elections, it is imperative to remind political parties that they have one month from today to conclude their primaries.

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“The deadline remains Friday, June 3.”

While urging the parties to ensure rancour-free and transparent exercise, INEC reiterated that the deadline remained firm and fixed, he said.

Okoye said nominations for Presidential and National Assembly elections shall be submitted through the INEC web portal from June 10 to June 17.

Governorship and State Houses of Assembly nominations shall be submitted between July 1 and 15.

“Political parties are further reminded that they must submit to the commission the list of candidates who must have emerged from valid primaries.

“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,” Okoye said.

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