INEC grants parties request, extends deadline for primaries by 6 days

The political parties had mounted pressure on INEC to extend the deadline for the conduct of primaries.

INEC grants parties' request, extends deadline for primaries by 6 days.  (VanguardNGR)

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the deadline for the conduct of primary elections for the 2023 general elections.

This was contained in a statement issued by the commission’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, on Friday, May 27, 2022.

This decision comes following a meeting between INEC and the leadership of political parties on Friday.

The political parties had asked INEC to review its timelines for primaries as stated in the Timetable and Schedule of activities for the conduct of the 2023 general election.

The commission approved a six-day extension as against the 37-60 days requested by the parties during the Friday meeting.

The statement read, "Earlier, the political parties had requested for 37 – 60 days extension of the timeline for primaries and the nomination of candidates. The Commission was emphatic that this request could not be granted because it would disrupt other scheduled activities on the Timetable. This position of the Commission has not changed.

However, based on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election, the parties have now 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. The Commission did not schedule any specific activity during this period. 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.

The Commission has 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. However, this request is granted in respect of outstanding primaries only without prejudice to those already concluded by political parties. The Commission will not monitor already concluded primaries.

Meanwhile, the two major political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had fixed their respective presidential primaries for this weekend.

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