BREAKING: INEC extends primary election deadline by 6 days

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The INEC Chairman Gets Query Over 2023 Election has given in to political pressure, particularly from the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, to extend the June 3 Primary .

The nation’s 18 registered political parties have requested a one-week extension after twice failing to persuade to extend its June 3 deadline for the conduct of political parties’ primary elections.

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The parties had requested a 37-day extension through the Inter-Party Advisory Council IPAC, and when that was denied, they requested a two-month extension.

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

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of INEC, requested a closed-door meeting with the parties, after which INEC met as a commission and granted the extension.

“Political parties had previously requested a 37–60-day extension of the timeline for primaries and candidate nominations. The Commission was adamant that this request could not be granted because it would interfere with other Timetable activities.

The Commission’s position has not changed,” said INEC National Commissioner in Charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye.

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

“During this time, the Commission did not plan any specific activities.” From the 10th to the 17th of June 2022, the idea is to simply give parties time to compile the list and personal information of their nominated candidates before uploading them to the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal.

“The Commission has decided to grant the political parties’ request because the six-day period does not conflict with the next scheduled activity, which is the submission of the list of nominated candidates, or any of the subsequent timelines, which are both strictly adhered to.” However, this request is only granted in the case of pending primaries, not those that have already been concluded by political parties.

He stated that “the Commission will not monitor primaries that have already taken place.”

The next critical activity for political parties, according to INEC, is the online submission of the list of candidates the party proposes to sponsor, which must be accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the candidates indicating that they fulfilled all the constitutional requirements for election into the various offices via the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal.

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“In addition, the Commission has decided to train political party officials to use the portal efficiently and effectively, based on previous experience.” A total of 72 officials will be trained by the Commission, four from each of the 18 political parties.

“Unfortunately, some political parties have yet to submit their candidates for training.” The Commission reminds such parties to do so as soon as possible. The Commission would like to emphasize that only nominations submitted electronically will be considered.

He stated, “Political parties are advised to ensure that their primaries are free of rancour in order to meet the timelines for the remaining activities embodied in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.”

That is the latest on INEC extends primary election deadline by 6 days

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