The Independent National Electoral Commission has extended the schedule for the conduct 2023 primary elections, caving in to pressure from political parties who had wanted to buy more time to conclude the exercise.
This was disclosed by INEC in a statement on Friday evening, as the electoral body announced that parties have up to the 9th of June to conclude primaries as against 3rd of June.
At a meeting with INEC on Friday, the parties through the IPAC Chairman, Yabagi Sani, requested the electoral umpire to allow them to utilize the one week period of inactivity between the earlier June 3 deadline and June 10 when they are expected to begin uploading the names of their candidates unto the Commission’s Candidate Nomination Portal.
INEC in its statement stated that the political parties had requested for a 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.
It stated that the parties pleaded with the Commission to use the 6 days period between the 4th and 9th of June to conclude outstanding primaries and prepare to upload the list of candidates and the affidavits on the INEC nomination list
INEC stated that they have decided to allow the request of the political parties since the 6-day period does not conflict with the scheduled activity.
It said 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.
It also warned that this request is granted in respect of outstanding primaries only without prejudice to those already concluded by political parties.
The People’s Democratic Party is expected to conduct its presidential primaries today, Saturday, May 28.
Meanwhile, the incumbent All Progressives Congress has now postponed its presidential primary to June 6-7 as against the earlier scheduled date — May 29-30.