By Emeka Okafor
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that political parties participating in 2023 general elections must conclude the party primaries by June 3rd to pick their candidates for various elective positions.
INEC in a statement signed by its National Commissioner/Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, enjoined political parties to abide strictly to electoral umpire’s schedules and timetable.
The statement titled; “Adherence To Timelines For The Conduct Of Primaries By Political Parties” said the all political parties have one month to conclude their primaries.
“It will be recalled that on February 26, 2022, the commission released the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election. It provides for parties to conduct their primaries for the nomination of candidates from April 4 to June 3, 2022.
“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 June 3, 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 June 10 to 17, 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.
“We will continue to work with political parties to ensure fidelity to the Constitution, the Electoral Act, and the timelines for all the activities contained in the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election”, the statement added.
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