Friday, 27 May 2022

INEC extends primary election deadline by 6 days

The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has bowed to pressure from political parties, especially the ruling All Progressives Congress APC for the extension of the June 3 

Primary Election deadline.

After twice failing to arm-twist INEC into extending its June 3 deadline for the conduct of political parties’ primary elections, the nation’s 18 registered political parties have now asked the to consider a one-week extension.

The parties under the aegis of the Inter-Party Advisory Council IPAC had earlier asked for a 37-day extension and when it was not granted, they asked for a two-month extension.

However, at a meeting with INEC on Friday, the parties through the IPAC Chairman, Yabagi Sani, requested the electoral umpire to allow them to utilize the one week period of inactivity between the earlier June 3 deadline and June 10 when they are expected to begin uploading the names of their candidates unto the Commission’s Candidate Nomination Portal.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu however requested a closed-door session with the parties after which INEC also met as a commission and granted the extension.

“Earlier, the political parties had requested for a 37 – 60 days extension of the timeline for primaries and the nomination of candidates. The Commission was emphatic that this request could not be granted because it would disrupt other scheduled activities on the Timetable. This position of the Commission has not changed”, said Barr. Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee.

He said that based on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election, the parties have now pleaded with the Commission to use the 6-day period between 4th and 9th June 2022 to conclude outstanding primaries and prepare to upload the list of candidates and their affidavits on the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal.

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