The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has extended the timelines for Party Primaries and Submission of the list of Nominated Candidates to extra six days.
A statement by the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye states that the political parties had earlier requested for 37 – 60 days extension of the timeline for primaries and the nomination of candidate but the request was not granted by the Commission because it would disrupt other scheduled activities on the Timetable.
It further states that, based on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election the parties yesterday 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.
According to the statement, the Commission agreed to the Extension since it did not schedule any specific activity during the period and that 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.
It also says that the Commission 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.
It explains that the request is granted in respect of outstanding primaries only without prejudice to those already concluded by political parties.
It explains that the Commission will not monitor already concluded primaries.
The statement indicates that 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.
According to the statement, based on past experiences, INEC has decided to train four officials from each of the eighteen political parties for them to make efficient and effective use of the portal.
By this statement, the Commission wishes to reiterate that only electronically submitted nominations will be processed.
It advises Political parties to ensure that their primaries are free of rancour to meet the timelines for the remaining activities embodied in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.