Nominations Without Running Mates Invalid, Says INEC Chairman
As the deadline for the conduct of political party primaries elapsed on Thursday, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has reminded political parties not submit candidates without running mates, saying such nominations would outrightly be declared invalid.
Speaking at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners RECs Thursday in Abuja, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu added that candidates who did not emerge through democratic nomination processes would also not be accepted.
According to him, the meeting was called to review a number of inter-related activities, particularly the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration CVR exercise and the submission of the list of candidates by Political Parties.
On the nomination process, Yakubu said; “Turning to the nomination of candidates by Political Parties for the 2023 General Election, all primaries end today Thursday 9th June 2022.
“For the next one week from tomorrow 10th June 2022, all Political Parties are required to submit their list of candidates for national elections (Presidential/Vice Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives) latest by Friday 17th June 2022.
“For State elections (Governorship/Deputy Governorship and State Houses of Assembly), the list of candidates shall be uploaded from 1st to 15th July 2022 as already provided in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election already released by the Commission.
“All Political Parties are required to upload the details of their candidates for each constituency to the INEC Candidate Nomination Portal (ICNP). To achieve this objective, four officials recommended by each of the 18 political parties were trained on the procedure for uploading the nomination forms to the dedicated web portal. Confidential Access Codes to the portal have already been given to each Political Party to facilitate the uploading of its nominations.
“For emphasis, the Commission wishes to remind Political Parties that only the names of candidates that emerged from democratic primaries as provided by Sec. 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 shall be submitted to the Commission.
“Similarly, the list of all Presidential and Governorship candidates must be accompanied by the names of their running mates (i.e. Vice Presidential and Deputy Governorship candidates) without which the nomination is invalid. All nominations must be uploaded to the portal on/or before the deadlines.
“The portal will automatically shut down at 6.00pm (1800hrs) on Friday 17th June 2022 for national elections and 6.00pm (1800hrs) on Friday 15th July 2022 for State elections. With this innovation, the Commission has eliminated the physical interface between party officials and INEC staff for the purpose of submitting the list of candidates for the 2023 General Election.
“A Nomination Centre has been set up here at the Commission’s Headquarters to receive and process all nominations by political parties, including dedicated telephone lines to serve as Help Desk for any Party that may need assistance. In our avowed commitment to openness and transparency of the process, the media will be invited to the Nomination Center so that Nigerians will see our level of preparedness for the exercise”.
On voter registration, the INEC boss said as the deadline for the suspension of the current exercise approaches, the Commission has received reports of a surge in the number of prospective registrants who daily throng its State and Local Government Area offices as well as designated centres in many States across the country.
“I wish to reassure Nigerians that the Commission remains committed to ensuring that all citizens who wish to register are given the opportunity to do so. This is one of the reasons why this meeting has been convened. Already, some of the Resident Electoral Commissioners have requested for more voter registration machines to ease the congestion. The Commission will deploy additional machines to areas of need immediately. Thereafter, the Commission will meet to review the progress of the exercise and take further decisions”, he added.