INEC Rejects Political Parties Request For Election Time-table Adjustment

Political Parties in Nigeria under the aegis of Intra Party Advisory Council, IPAC, have asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to consider an adjustment in the Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Elections.

Chairman of IPAC and National Chairman Africa Democratic Party, ADP Yusuf Yabagi-Sani who addressed stakeholders at INEC Quarterly Consultative Meeting with Political Party Executives in Abuja on Tuesday, said the adjustment should only affect party Primaries by two months, which will not alter the timeline for the 2023 General Elections.

IPAC Chairman Sani said: “It is within the framework of the enduring bond between the INEC and IPAC in service to the country, that all the 18 registered political parties on the platform of IPAC are joint, without exception, requesting the INEC to consider a slight adjustment to the recently announced timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections.

“In summary, the general assembly of IPAC …requests for an extension by 37 days to the deadline of the time frame for the conduct of party primaries and resolution of conflicts arising from the primaries:

“By implication, the IPAC leadership is appealing to the INEC to extend the deadline for the conduct of party primaries and resolution of ensuing conflicts from the present INEC given date of June 3, 2022 to 4th August 2022.

“Some of the issues considered by the IPAC general assembly which necessitated the call for extension in the timeframe of the present INEC timetable and schedule of activities are based on certain circumstances and developments that have hampered timely and strict compliance by the political parties to the timetable.

“Some of the constraining developments which, we believe were not considered and therefore, not factored in by NEC while drawing up its schedule of activities include the following; the Christian Lenten season and the Muslim fasting in the month of Ramadan respectively followed by the celebrations of Easter and Eid El Fitr, (Sallah), in which the vast majority of party members were involved.

“It is also, noteworthy that, the scenario was the first time that the two major events in the Christian and Muslim calendars would be occurring around the period of general elections.”

Sani also cited the forthcoming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states within the timeline of the INEC as “additional distractions and constraints that obviously affect the political parties.”.

He added that “IPAC general assembly regards the time allotted by INEC for the conduct of primaries as too short in view of the efforts required by the parties for effective and scrupulous screening and selection of qualified and quality flag bearers.”

The IPAC boss said that the parties were “ not unmindful of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2022 with respect to timelines in the electoral process” in making the request for an adjustment.

But INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu reminded the political parties of importance of respecting the election timeline, noting it is a constitutional matter.

The INEC Chairman turned down a request by the 18 political parties to alter the timetable for the 2023 general elections.

The commission said acceding to the request would affect its “other activities” and create “unnecessary tension” that could negatively affect the general election scheduled to commence February 25, next year.

“The commission will not review the timelines,” INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu said.

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