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Key political dates for Nigeria in 2011

By Chioma Gabriel, Deputy Editor
January Registration of Voters is scheduled to commence on 15 of January and end on  29th  January, 2011 according to  Section 9(5)  of the Electoral Act, 2010 .

Last day for submission of Forms CF001 and CF002 at the National Headquarters of the Commission for all Elections is  31st  January, 2011 as contained in Section 31(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 which provides for not later than 60 days before the election.

Form CF001 is Affidavit in support of Personal Particulars of persons seeking election to the Office/Membership of constituency or state and Affidavit in support of Personal Particulars of persons seeking election to the office of Chairman, Vice Chairman or Councilor of Area Council, Membership of State House of Assembly, House of Representatives or Senate, Office of Governor, Deputy Governor, President or Vice President. Form CF002 is a party’s list of candidates for specified elective positions.

Delta State gubernatorial re-run is also expected to take place on January 6.

February

Display of Register of Voters for claims and objections runs from 3rd February, 2011 to 8th February, 2011, according to  Section 19(1)  of the Electoral Act, 2010

Publication of Personal Particulars of candidates.

Section 31(3) of the Electoral Act, 2010 provides for publication within 7 days of the receipt of the form CF001

Publication of Personal Particulars of candidates (CF001) for all Elections in accordance with Section 31(3) of the Electoral Act, 2010 which provides for publication within 7 days of the receipt of the form CF001 is on February 6.Parties are to collect nomination forms between February 7 to 10, 2011 and they are expected to submit nomination forms to INEC for all elections on February 21, 2011.

The last day for the withdrawal or substitution of candidates by political parties for all elections will be February .

March

Publication of official Register of voters for the elections will take place in March, 2011 in accordance  with  Section 20 of the Electoral Act, 2010 which  provides that it must  not be later than 30 days before the election.

Also in the month of March, there would be publication of list of nominated candidates  for all Elections . This will take place from  2nd March, 2011  to 16th March, 2011. Section 34 of the Electoral Act, 2010 provides this must be done at least 30 days before the day of election.

There will also be publication of Notice of Poll for  all Elections on 18th March, 2011 .Section 46 of the Electoral Act, 2010 provides not later than 14 days before the election.

After the publication of nominated candidates, submission of names of Party Agents for all Elections to the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECS.)  will take place on 25th March, 2011 Section 45 of the Electoral Act, 2010 provides this must be done not later than 7 days before the election.

April

Presidential election would take place on  April 9, 2011, while those for the National Assembly, Governorship, and State Assemblies elections would hold between 2 and 16 April, 2011.

This schedule was done in compliance with Section 26 of the 2010 Electoral Act, which gives the commission the power to fix the dates of the election as well as conduct the polls.

The new time table superseded the one released by the commission in September, which was done in compliance with the old Electoral Act and urged full compliance with the provisions by all political actors.

The  last day for campaigns for the National Assembly is 1 April, 2011; that for the President is 8 April and the Governorship/State Assemblies 15 April.

Run-off  vote for the office of the Governor and office of the President (if any) would be held within seven days after the announcement of the result of the affected election and  there shall be no campaigns 24 hours before or on election days.

Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 prohibits Advertisements or broadcasts of campaigns 24 hours prior to the day of election.

This is also a month of constitution of election  tribunals that will  tackle complaints and disagreements that would emanate  from conduct of  elections on state and federal levels

The amended constitution and electoral act  extended  the process of litigations arising from governorship elections to the Supreme Court. Before now, governorship election petitions used to terminate at the Court of Appeal.

May

Swearing in of  democratically elected governors and president  on the 29th of May 2011. Members of the state Houses of assembly are also expected to be sworn in .

Nigeria will also mark one year of the demise of President Umaru Yar’Adua who died  after a protracted illness in 2010.

June

The two sessions of the National Assembly are expected to be inaugurated this month. This is  also a  month of continued sitting of election  tribunals that  will  tackle complaints and disagreements that would emanate  from conduct of  elections on state and federal levels.

The month of June every year in Nigeria also signifies the month of democracy. June 12 is celebrated every year in Nigeria because it was the month that the freest and fairest presidential election of June 12 1993 was annulled.

That election was believed to have been won by Chief MKO Abiola but the military administration of Ibrahim Babangida annulled it.
It would be one year of Professor Attahiru Jega in office as INEC Chairman. He was appointed June 30.

October

Nigeria celebrates 51 years of independence   On Friday October 1, 2010 of Nigeria’s Independence Day Celebration was tarnished by a double car bomb explosion in the capital city of Abuja. 12 people lost their lives in the attack, and several others were injured.

The movement for the emancipation of the Niger delta or MEND as they are commonly referred to claimed responsibility for the attack. Outside of  being a national tragedy, these attacks have even further complicated the highly contentious Nigerian Presidential race.

Henry Okah and his brother Charles are standing trail for the tragedy. It was the first time a year ago that anybody dared to threaten to bomb Abuja and made it real. It was also one year that INEC presented its action plan for a free and fair election in 2011.


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.