As the 2023 general elections draws near, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC is calling on all political parties to produce candidates from democratic, transparent and valid primaries in line with the provisions of Sections 29 and 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
In a statement signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, the Commission also warned that any party that fails to conduct its primaries according to the stipulated laws would be excluded from that particular election. INEC also reiterated its commitment to monitor the primaries of each political party.
The statement reads: “The Commission wishes to reiterate that parties must adhere strictly to the principles of internal democracy, drawing from their constitutions, guidelines, the Electoral Act and other Regulations and Guidelines issued by the Commission.
“Their candidates for the 1,491 constituencies for which elections will be conducted in 2023 must emerge from democratic, transparent and valid primaries, in line with the provisions of Sections 29 and 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022. Where a political party fails to comply with the provisions of the Act in the conduct of its primaries, its candidate shall not be included in the election for the particular position in issue.
“As required by law, the Commission shall monitor the primaries of each political party that provides the required legal notice in line with Sections 82 (1) and (5) of the Electoral Act. Failure of a political party to notify the Commission of any convention or congress convened for the purpose of nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified in the Act shall render the convention or congress invalid.
“Primaries must be conducted in the various constituencies as provided in Section 84 of the Electoral Act as it is a violation of the law to conduct primaries outside the constituencies for which parties are nominating candidates. The Commission will not monitor such primaries and their outcome will not be accepted.”
The Commission warned political parties to avoid acrimonious primaries that could result in unnecessary litigations that may lead to failure to nominate and field candidates for elections in some constituencies.
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