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2023; INEC will not go against provisions of Electoral Act, Constitution – Delta REC

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Tom stated this at a one-day media/CSO roundtable on the Electoral Act 2022, organized by the commission in collaboration with Transition Monitoring Group held at the commission’s conference hall, Asaba, the state capital.

He said that the Electoral Act, 2022, (as amended) was a piece of important legislation, enacted to improve the legal framework for the conduct of the 2023 General Election, and overall benefit of the electoral process.

Our correspondent who participated at the workshop reports that the INEC REC told participants at the workshop that the Electoral Act 2022, signed into law on February 25, 2022, by President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the Constitution of the Federal Republic and INEC Guidelines and regulation would essentially provide the framework for the conduct of the 2023 General Election.

reiterating the directives of the commission, as stated some days ago, Tom said that the electoral umpire would not derail in following its guidelines for the election hence ‘it is important to bring all key players in the electoral process to a roundtable, to take a slice of the Act, examine its ramifications for each player in their corner, with the overall goal of informed and enlightened value added political discuss, activism and reportage, which of course will ultimately benefit the out come of the 2023 General election.

“Of course the Commission has recently restated for the umpteenth time that it would not accept the outcome of any primaries conducted after June 3, 2023, once again signalling the commitment to bring some measure of certainty and sanity into the nation’s electoral calendar.

He emphasized that INEC was poised to ensure free, fair and credible elections next year, ‘hence the hosting of this event by the Commission and donor partners in Delta State, to familiarize participants with key provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, as we turn a critical corner in INEC plans and processes for the 2023 General Election.’

“It is also important to note that, the provisions of the current Electoral Act, is not only intended to offer legal cover for the series of Commission’s past and present innovations, which over the years, has often suffered technical defeats in the court of law, it has further deepen transparency and reduced ambiguity and the use of discretion by both the Commission and stakeholders in the electoral process.

He said that the Act took effect with the publication of Notice of Election, by the Commission on  February 28, 2022, in line with section 28(1) , which inter-alia provides that, “The Commission shall, not later  than 360 days before the day appointed for holding of an election under this Act, publish a notice in each state of the Federation  and the Capital Territory- Stating the date of the election; and Appointing the place at which nomination papers are to be delivered.

Consequently, other timeline activities has since followed, including on-going Party Congresses and Primaries, for the nomination of candidates, in which Section  29(1-8) provides for the list of candidates to be submitted to the Commission by political parties, 180 days before the 2023 General Election, and in this instance, before the Presidential and National Assembly elections, fixed for February 25, 2023, he added.

He, however, expressed hope that participants would leave the workshop better informed , equipped and empowered to make the 2023 General Election the best in the history of elections in the state and country at large.

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