INEC bows to pressure, extends deadline for party primaries
NEWS DIGEST – The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has bowed to pressure mounted by political parties for the extension of deadline for the conduct of primary elections.
Recall that political parties under the auspices of the Inter- Party Advisory Council, IPAC, had written to the INEC, seeking a 37 to 60-day extension of its deadline for conduct of primaries and nomination of candidates but the electoral umpire refused.
But the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, during a meeting with the leaders of the political parties, said the commission granted a 7-day extension, from 4th to 9th June for the conduct and mop up of the exercise.
The Commission, in a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee Festus Okoye, said “This request is granted in respect of outstanding primaries only without prejudice to those already concluded by political parties. The Commission will not monitor already concluded primaries.”
“The Commission has decided to allow the request of the political parties since 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 remain sacrosanct.
“However, this request is granted in respect of outstanding primaries only without prejudice to those already concluded by political parties. The Commission will not monitor already concluded primaries.
“After the conduct of primaries, the next critical activity for political parties is the online submission of the list of the candidates the party proposes to sponsor which shall 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.”