Politics

INEC rejects request for extension of time for party primaries

The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has reiterated that the June 3 deadline for political parties’ primaries and other timelines for the 2023 election remains certain.

Yakubu spoke at INEC quarterly consultative meeting with leaders of 18 registered political parties on Tuesday in Abuja, the first since the Electoral Act 2022 was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, Feb. 25.

According to PM News reports, the INEC boss utterances comes as the IPAC National Chairman, Mr Yabagi Sani appealed to the Commission to extend the June 3 deadline for political parties primaries for the 2023 general election, by two months.

But while dismissing such calls, Yakubu said any extension in the timeline for an activity would affect other activities and put unnecessary pressure on political parties and the commission.

Yakubu added that such action would ultimately result in more complications than what the extension sought to achieve.

“This is also our first meeting since the Commission released the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election over two months ago on Saturday, Feb. 26.

“Already, all 18 political parties have forwarded the schedules of their primaries to the Commission, and some have commenced the process of choosing their candidates by conducting ward and local government congresses.

“The period earmarked for the conduct of primaries by political parties commenced on 4th April 2022 and will end 24 days from today i.e. June 3,” he said.

He added: “Twice in the last two weeks, the commission had cause to remind political parties of the necessity for strict compliance with the timelines for party primaries.

“I hereby reiterate the position of the commission that there will be no review of the timelines. There are so many inter-related activities that are associated with the timelines which must be carried out.

“Any review to extend the timeline for one activity will affect other activities and put unnecessary pressure on political parties and the commission.”

Yakubu added that such action would ultimately result in more complications than what the extension sought to achieve.

“Therefore, the commission will not review the timelines.

“Working together, we should ensure fidelity to the timelines in conducting transparent and democratic primaries for the purpose of electing candidates for the 1,491 constituencies for which elections will be held on Feb. 25 and March 11 2023,” he said.

Yakubu said that the INEC has prepared a calendar for party primaries for presidential, governorship, national and state houses of assembly based on the proposals submitted by political parties as at Friday, May 6 presented to party leaders at the meeting.

He reminded political parties of their commitment to promoting inclusivity for women and persons with disabilities in the electoral process, as they conduct their primaries and nominate candidates for 2023 general elections.

“To assure citizens that you are not paying lip service to this commitment, political parties should encourage greater involvement of all under-represented segments of the society as candidates for elections.

“This is the only way we can change the reality of increasingly low level of representation of these critical segments of the society in legislative assemblies in particular and the governance of our country in general,” he said.

Abdullahi Sanni

Abdullahi Sanni is a senior news reporter at SHO PEN ONLINE. He is a passionate writer with core interest in Politics, sports and economy reports. Abdullahi who studied mass communication at Kwara state polytechnic in Ilorin, is the 1st of six in his family. He's a multimedia journalist who has traveled far and wide in the course of his journalism career.

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