The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has granted six day period request of political parties to conclude their primaries.
This was after the INEC, rejected plea for 37 – 60 days extension of the timeline for primaries and the nomination of candidates by political parties.
The Commission was emphatic that the request could not be granted because it would disrupt other scheduled activities on the Timetable declaring that the position of the Commission has not changed.
This was the outcome of a meeting of the INEC, with the leadership of political parties on Friday 27th May 2022.
At the meeting 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.
However, based on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election, the parties later pleaded with the Commission to use the 6-day period between 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.
But because the Commission did not schedule any specific activity during this period, it graciously allowed the request, as the idea is to simply give parties time to compile the list and personal particulars of their nominated candidates before uploading same to the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal from 10th – 17th June 2022.
The Commission said it decided to allow the request of the political parties since the six-day period does not conflict with the next scheduled activity which is the submission of the list of nominated candidates or any of the subsequent timelines which remain sacrosanct.
However, the request was granted in respect of outstanding primaries only without prejudice to those already concluded by political parties and the Commission said it will not monitor already concluded primaries.
After the conduct of primaries, the next critical activity for political parties is the online submission of the list of the candidates the party proposes to sponsor which shall be accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the candidates indicating that they fulfilled all the constitutional requirements for election into the various offices via the INEC Candidates Nomination Portal.
In addition, the Commission, based on past experience, has decided to train the political party officials to make efficient and effective use of the portal. The Commission will train four officials from each of the 18 political parties, making a total of 72 in all.
The INEC observed that some of the political parties are still yet to submit their nominees for the training and reminded affected parties to do so immediately, reiterating that only electronically submitted nominations will be processed.
Political parties are therefore advised to ensure that their primaries are free of rancour in order to meet the timelines for the remaining activities embodied in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.” INEC said.