Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Nigeria: EC will not recognise parallel primaries

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the weekend made it clear that it would not recognise parallel primaries by any political party.
The Commission pointedly declared that only names of candidates signed by the national chairmen and secretaries of political parties would be accepted.
The Commission has similarly resolved to impose a N500,000 fine on any political party that presents candidate(s) with false information.
INEC has equally ruled out extension for any party that failed to meet the December 18 and 25, 2014 deadline for the submission of candidates for next year's general elections.
The INEC guidelines for the 2015 elections specifically fixed the deadline for submission of candidates for presidential and National Assembly elections at December 18, while that of governorship and state Assembly elections is December 26.
According to the information on the INEC's website, "parties are requested to ensure that the candidates they intend to sponsor at the elections are available with the originals of all their credentials at the respective venues for the exercise in case they are required.
"The attention of parties and their candidates is also drawn to section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2006 which disqualifies any candidate who provides false information in his/her affidavit (Form CF 001) from contesting elections.
"Furthermore, a political party which presents such a candidate is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine up to N500,000", it stated.
The Commission also explained that the publication of names of candidates for various positions was being done at the constituency levels.
According to the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, the commission was already " displaying the particulars of candidates for claims and objection at the constituency level as required by law".
Idowu pointed out that for the presidential position whose constituency is Nigeria "we are displaying it in all INEC offices nation wide.
"For all other positions we are displaying that for all the states relevant. It has been on display."
On the issue of parallel primaries, he stated that INEC was not aware of anything of such.
His words, "The law makes it clear for the procedures for conduct of primaries. Political parties shall nominate candidate which INEC will have no cause to reject.
"Only the candidates presented by national chairmen and national secretaries of parties will be recognised by INEC.
"INEC has record of the officials of party executives so INEC knows who is an executive. People who we don't have records on cannot invite us and we go to monitor their primaries".
Idowu however stated that only a court ruling will make the commission to reject a candidate by a party.
He said, "Of course, if a court rules that a candidate nominated by a party must not be accepted, if that happens, we will accept the law."

-Daily Times (NG)

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