There should be no public campaigning by presidential candidates until November 18, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said yesterday.
This is in line with the timelines given by the agency and the provisions of the Electoral Act, INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said.
He advised parties and their candidates to adhere to the electoral timetable during a workshop for election professionals from the Commonwealth Africa Region.
Yakubu reminded political parties and candidates that the end of primaries did not mean the immediate commencement of campaigns. “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 Nov. 18.
“Campaign for Governorship and State Assembly elections begins on Dec. 1. “I call upon political parties and candidates to strictly adhere to these dates,’’ he said.
Yakubu said that with the conclusion of primaries by political parties yesterday, the next activity was the nomination of candidates to the commission.
He reminded political parties that the dates for the submission of lists of candidates (Form CFOO2) and their personal particulars (Forms C1001) for presidential and National Assembly elections are from Oct 10 to Oct.18.
The date for the governorship and State Assembly elections is Oct. 22 and Nov. 2. “The commission will receive the submission from political parties at Aso Hall of the International Conference Centre, Abuja, from 9.a.m to 4.p.m. daily.
“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 patties in line with the commission’s guidelines.’’
Yakubu described the workshop and its theme, “Strengthening Electoral Democracy in the Commonwealth African Region” as topical and relevant. He said that all the countries of the Commonwealth, Africa region, needed to further consolidate on election process so that elections were not merely periodic but also peaceful and credible.
“Bringing election managers together to share experiences and build capacities is a critical step to the consolidation of electoral democracy,” Yakubu said.
Yakubu said that participants would be taken through five interrelated sub-themes, ranging from the promotion of sustainable electoral democracy, strategic planning, gender and elections, electoral technology to elections and new media.