By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has instructed political parties to as a matter of urgency begin the submission of the list of candidates (Form CF002) and their personal particulars (Forms CF001) from October 10 to 18, 2018 for presidential and National Assembly elections.
The commission also said that the submission of forms for governorship and state assembly elections will begin from October 22 to November 2, 2018, adding that going by the provisions of the Electoral Act, the timetable and schedule of activities, campaigns for presidential and National Assembly elections will commence on November 18, 2018, while that of the governorship and state assembly begin on December 1, 2018.
To this end, INEC called on political parties and candidates to strictly adhere to the dates.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this Monday while delivering his welcome address at the Commonwealth Election Professionals (CEP) training workshop for the Commonwealth African Region in Abuja.
Yakubu noted that the theme of the workshop: “Strengthening Electoral Democracy in the Commonwealth African Region” is topical and relevant, more so that participants are drawn mainly from middle-level officials who actually conduct elections in the field.
According to him, “This workshop is coming in the middle of activities for the 2019 general election,” adding that with the conclusion of primaries by political parties Sunday, “the next activity is the commencement of the process of nomination of candidates to the commission”.
He said: “May I seize this opportunity to remind political parties that the dates for the submission of list of candidates (Form CF001) for presidential and National Assembly elections is 10th -18th of October 2018, while governorship and state assembly elections is 22nd October to 2nd November 2018.
“The commission will receive the submission form from political parties at Aso Hall of the International Conference Centre, Abuja, from 9:00am to 4:00pm daily.”
The INEC boss revealed that although the commission has not communicated the dates to all political parties yet, but “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 in line with the commission’s guidelines,” he said.
Speaking further, Yakubu said: “Let me also remind political parties and candidates that the end of primaries does not mean the immediate commencement of campaigns. Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act prohibits campaigns by political parties earlier than 90 days before polling day.”
The INEC chairman, while thanking the Commonwealth for the vital partnership that brings election managers from Africa together over the next five days, however, assured the organisers that the commission was always willing to partner with it to promote the core values of transparent, credible and inclusive elections.