The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Saturday released the final list of candidates eligible to participate in the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
The list published on the commission’s website and at the 19 local government areas of the state showed that incumbent governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will slug it out with 12 other candidates.
INEC had set July 13 as the deadline for withdrawal and substitution of candidates for the state election.
Before the expiration date, only three parties – the Action Alliance (AA), Labour Party (LP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) substituted their candidates earlier nominated for the poll.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, in a statement Saturday, stated that political parties can no longer withdraw or substitute any of the nominated candidates.
He said: “By Section 35 of the Electoral Act and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities of the commission, the withdrawal and substitution of candidates for the Edo Governorship election ended on July 13, 2020.
“With the publication of the Final List of candidates, no Political Party can withdraw or substitute any of the nominated candidates or tamper with the List and particulars of the candidates in a manner inconsistent with the intendment of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.
“We urge Political Parties to pay close attention to the timelines stipulated in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities of the Commission as well as the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.”