INEC considers February next year for re-run, bye-elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is considering the first week of February for the conduct of re-run and by-elections arising from the 2023 general elections.

Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, INEC chairman, at an extraordinary consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja, yesterday, said the commission intended to hold the two elections on the same day.

He said as the Election Petition Appeal Tribunals set up in the aftermath of the 2023 General Election gradually wind-up proceedings, the commission was required to conduct re-run elections in some constituencies by court order.

He added that INEC was also required to conduct bye-elections to fill vacancies arising from the death or resignation of members of National or State Houses of Assembly.

“As you are aware, re-run elections only involve the parties and candidates that participated in the general election unless a party wishes to replace a deceased candidate.

“However, bye-elections are fresh elections. Consequently, political parties must conduct fresh primaries within the limited period of time provided by law.

“So far, the Election Petition Appeal Tribunals have ordered the Commission to conduct re-run elections in 34 constituencies made up of one Senatorial District, 11 Federal Constituencies and 22 State Assembly constituencies.

“However, the 34 constituencies constitute 2.8 per cent of the 1,191 petitions filed by litigants. Significantly, out of the 34 re-run elections, it is only in three cases that the Commission was ordered to conduct elections in the entire constituencies.

“In the other 31 constituencies, elections are to be held in a few polling units,” he said.

Yakubu said that at the end of all the litigations, including the governorship elections pending on appeal at the Supreme Court, INEC would present a comprehensive analysis of the petition.

This according to him includes cases where INEC was ordered to issue Certificates of Return to other candidates and the reasons for the decisions by the Courts as part of the lessons learned from the 2023 General Election for the consequential reforms to improve the conduct of future elections.

Yakubu said that at the end of this consultative meeting, INEC would meet to review preparations and announce a definite date, including the detailed Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the elections.

He said that delimitation details, including locations, number of Polling Units, registered voters and Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) collected in each constituency would be uploaded on INEC website for public information.


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