The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended political party primaries by six days to allow them to complete their work.
INEC met with the leadership of political parties today, according to Festus Okoye, Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, who said the political parties requested the Commission to review the timelines for political party primaries provided in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Conduct of the 2023 General Election released on Saturday 26th February 2022.
“Previously, political parties requested a 37- to 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.
“However, the parties have now pleaded with the Commission to use the 6-day period between the 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, based on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.”
“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 details of their nominated candidates before uploading them to the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal,” he explained.
According to Okoye, the commission decided to grant the political parties’ request because the six-day period did 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 all strictly adhered to.
“However, this request is granted only in relation to pending primaries, not to those that have already been concluded by political parties.” “The Commission will not monitor primaries that have already taken place,” he added.
After the primaries, the next critical activity for political parties, according to Okoye, was the online submission of the list of candidates the party intended to sponsor, which must be accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the candidates indicating that they met all the constitutional requirements for election into various offices via the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal.
In addition, he stated that the Commission had decided, based on previous experience, to train political party officials on how to use the portal efficiently and effectively.
‘A total of 72 officials will be trained by the Commission, four from each of the 18 political parties. Regrettably, some political parties have yet to submit their candidates for the training. The Commission reminds such parties to do so as soon as possible. “The Commission wishes to emphasise that only nominations submitted electronically will be considered,” he said.