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INEC to parties: Your conduct derailing electoral process

…says parties not submitting election contributions, expenses reports

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has accused political parties of undermining the nation’s electoral process. INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who spoke at a quarterly consultative meeting with leaders of political parties, also said the parties are not complying with the provisions of the law that requires them to submit their election expenses to the commission. Prof. Yakubu told the party leaders that their party primaries are less than credible, noting that controversies still trail the primaries.

He reminded them of the recent letters INEC wrote to them on the imperative of complying with the provisions of the law as well as the commission’s regulations governing the conduct of party primaries and nomination of candidates. He said: “The Commission is not happy that candidates for elections are now being determined through litigation long after elections have been concluded and winners declared by INEC. “The problem lies squarely with the conduct of party primaries and nomination of candidates by some political parties.”

He urged the parties to hold themselves to the same high standard of free, fair, and credible elections that they hold INEC in all elections. “You must ensure strict compliance with your party constitutions, the law and the commission’s regulations and guidelines on party primaries in particular and the management of party affairs in general.

“After all, Nigerians only exercise their democratic right to elect leaders from the candidates presented by political parties. “Electing good leaders begins with the quality of primaries conducted by political parties. We will do our part to ensure that our elections continue to improve,” Prof. Yakubu assured. The INEC Chairman said contrary to sections 92 (3) and 93(4) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) which require political parties to submit to the commission their election expenses reports within six months and election contribution report within three months after the declarations of result of an election, only seven out of 14 political parties have responded in the case of Edo State and eight out of 17 for Ondo State. Prof. Yakubu disclosed that all the 18 political parties have expressed interest to participate in the November 6 Anambra governorship election while 14 parties have nominated candidates for the February 2022 FCT Area Council elections. Chairman of Interparty Advisory Council (IPAC), Dr. Leonard Nzenwa, decried the attacks on INEC facilities, which he regretted, might “diminish the capacity of the electoral management body to conduct elections in the country.”

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