Campaigns can only begin 90 days before polling day, INEC warns parties

Mahmood Yakubu
Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned political parties and their candidates to adhere to the electoral timetable on commencement of election campaigns; ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, handed down the warning in his opening remarks at a workshop for election professionals from the Commonwealth Africa Region, which started in Abuja, yesterday.

Yakubu further reminded political parties and candidates that their emergence at the primaries did not mean an immediate commencement of campaigns, stressing: “Section 99(1) prohibits campaigns by political parties earlier than 90 days before polling day.

“Therefore, going by the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities issued by the Commission, campaign for Presidential and National Assembly elections will commence on November 18. Campaign for governorship and Assembly elections begin on December 1.

“I call upon political parties and candidates to strictly adhere to these dates.”

Yakubu further said that with the conclusion of primaries by political parties on Sunday, the next activity is commencement of the process of nomination of candidates to the Commission.

He reminded political parties that the dates for the submission of list of candidates (Form CFOO2) and their personal particulars (Forms C1001) for presidential and National Assembly elections is from October 10 to October 18 and that the date for governorship and state Assembly elections remains October 22 and November 2. “The Commission will receive the submission from political parties at Aso Hall of the International Conference Centre, Abuja, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., daily.

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“Although we have communicated these dates to all political parties, let me reiterate that there will be no extension of time.

“Similarly, in making submissions to the Commission, the covering letters, as well as the list of candidates must be duly signed by the National Chairmen and National Secretaries of political parties…”

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