LASIEC Yet to Pick Specific Date for Council Elections, Says Philips

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Gboyega Akinsanmi
The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) yesterday said it had not picked a specific date for the conduct of  local government elections, promising credible process.

However, the commission noted that the council election would be conducted in June, thereby allaying the fear of political parties and actors over the conduct of the council election into the state’s 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas.

The Chairman of LASIEC, Justice Ayotunde Phillips gave the assurance in a statement issued after a stakeholders’ forum it held on the forthcoming council poll to sensitise key actors in the process.

Phillips noted that she would do everything to protect her integrity and reputation, though noted that the political parties and their chieftains “have key roles to play to make the process credible.”
She said the political class “has a major role to play in ensuring peaceful, orderly and successful conduct of elections. The way the political parties and their members conduct their affairs directly impacts on the conduct of elections, positively or negatively.”

The chairman explained that many of the lapses for which the election management bodies “are often held responsible are as a result of the actions and inactions of the populace.”
Philips, therefore, allayed the fears of various political parties that would be participating in the council elections, assuring the parties that the commission “will be impartial. Our integrity is at stake.”
She explained that the council poll “will be held in the second quarter of 2017, though the actual date has not been decided. We will issue the actual date to the public in due course.

“I want to allay the fears and erase the wrong perception of some of you about the commission being partisan, particularly from members of the opposition parties in the state. We place on record our avowed commitment towards ensuring that there is a level playing field for every stakeholder in the forthcoming elections irrespective of the political divide and affiliations.

“The commission shall strictly adhere to best practices in election management and will perform below the benchmark for excellence in electoral administration. Hence, the main reason for the commission’s painstaking thoroughness in the preparation for the council election.
“This is a new commission I am heading. I want to promise you all that my reputation is at stake. I will guide my work conscientiously not to jeopardise my reputation. I will do all parties right.”

Philips promised the stakeholders that the laws guiding the elections would be available for interested individual and parties within the next two weeks, noting that the political class also “has a role to play in ensuring peaceful, orderly, and successful conduct of the elections.
“I am of the strong conviction that the way political parties and their members conduct their affairs directly impact on the conduct of elections, positively or negatively,” the chairman explained.