Udora Orizu in Abuja
The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has urged member parties to resume campaigns ahead of rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections, contrary to the directive of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while answering a question during an interactive session with stakeholders in Abuja on Saturday, said political parties were not permitted to resume campaigns despite the postponement of the February 16 elections.
In a statement issued by its spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, CUPP directed member parties to continue campaigns from tomorrow Monday) and focus on voter remobilisation to ensure that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is elected and declared winner of the presidential election.
He said: “In view of the provisions of Section 99 of the Electoral Act , the over 51 member parties of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) hereby direct all members to return to the campaign fields and recommence campaigns and end by midnight of Thursday 21st February, 2019 as required by law.”
“Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act provides that public campaigns shall end 24 hours prior to the day of polling. It is therefore wrong to expect that political parties will stop campaigns on 14th February for Polls that will open on 23rd February.”
According to him, “It is unlawful and statutorily wrong to curtail the clear intendment of this Section of the Electoral Act which is clear and unambiguous.
“Campaigning until 24 hours prior to the day of polling is a statutory right of parties and cannot be taken away, curtailed or abridged by any executive fiat. INEC cannot on its own accord limit the period of campaigns as it is regulated by law,” CUPP said.