Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) asserts a benchmark for valid primaries

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned political parties against conducting rancorous primaries, saying it would only accept candidates who emerge from transparent and valid processes.

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter, Festus Okoye, gave the warning

in a statement in Abuja, yesterday, following the commencement of primaries by political parties,

in line with the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections released by the commission.

However, Okoye states that parties should conduct primaries in various constituencies as provided in

Section 84 of the Electoral Act, noting that it is a violation of the law to conduct primaries outside

the constituencies for which parties are nominating candidates.

He said the commission would not monitor primaries conducted otherwise or accept the outcome. Okoye also notes that two out of the 14 activities in the timetable and schedule of activities are successful accomplishments.

According to him, the publication of the notice of election was on February 28, 2022, while nomination

forms are available on INEC website since March 1, 2022.

Furthermore, The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter said;

“The next activity is the conduct of primaries by political parties, in line with the dictates of Section 84

of the Electoral Act for which the Timetable and Schedule of Activities provides a period of 61 days

(April 4 to June 3, 2022).

“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.

“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.”

Okoye also added: “Where a political party fails to comply with 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.”

By Taiyelolu A

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