INEC warns political parties, says deadline for primaries will be extended

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned that it will not extend the deadline for the conduct of primaries.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the commission said the deadline remains “firm and fixed” for Friday, June 3, stressing that political parties have “one month from today” to conclude their primaries.
The statement signed by Festus Okoye, chairman, information and voter education committee, disclosed that all the 18 political parties have served the required notices indicating the dates for their conventions, congresses, and primaries for the purpose of nominating candidates for various elective offices.
Okoye said nominations for presidential and national assembly elections should be submitted between June 10 and 17 while those of governorship and state houses of assembly should be between July 1 and 15.
The statement recalled that on February 26, 2022, the Commission released the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.
Okoye said the timetable provides for parties to conduct their primaries for the nomination of candidates from 4th April to 3rd June 2022.
The statement said, “In compliance with section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, all 18 political parties have served the required notices indicating the dates for their conventions, congresses, and primaries for the purpose of nominating candidates for various elective offices as specified in the Constitution and the Electoral Act.
“Some of the parties have already commenced the process for which the Commission has deployed staff to monitor the exercise as required by law.
“Given the importance of the exercise to the emergence of candidates for the various elective positions for the 2023 General Election, it is imperative to remind political parties that they have one month from today to conclude their primaries.
“The deadline remains Friday 3rd June 2022. While urging the parties to ensure rancour-free and transparent exercise, the Commission reiterates that the deadline is firm and fixed.
“Nominations for Presidential and National Assembly elections shall be submitted through the INEC web portal from 10th to 17th June 2022 while Governorship and State Houses of Assembly nominations shall be submitted between 1st and 15th July 2022.
“Political parties are further reminded that they must submit to the Commission the list of candidates who must have emerged from valid primaries.”
The statement added that INEC will continue to work with political parties to ensure compliance with the timelines for all the 2023 general election activities.

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