By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said 13 political parties have notified it of their intentions to participate in the forthcoming bye-elections spread across eight states of the Federation.
National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.
He said; “It will be recalled that on 11th August 2020, the Commission released the Harmonized Timetable and Schedule of Activities affecting 12 outstanding bye-elections in 8 States of the Federation scheduled for 31st October 2020.
“Out of the 18 registered Political Parties in Nigeria, 13 have notified the Commission of their intention to conduct primaries towards participating in the outstanding bye-elections. All the 13 political parties opted for indirect primaries.
“However, it is observed from the notices to the Commission that some of the political parties did not specify the venues within the respective constituencies for the conduct of their primaries.
“The attention of political parties is hereby drawn to the provisions of Section 87(4)(c) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) which makes it mandatory for any party that intends to nominate a candidate to the Senate, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly to hold its congresses in the respective Senatorial District, Federal Constituency and the State Assembly Constituency.
“The Speakers of Enugu and Katsina State Houses of Assembly have notified the Commission of the deaths of the Members representing Isi-Uzo State Constituency of Enugu State and Bakori State Constituency of Katsina State and have declared vacancies for the said constituencies, bringing the total number of vacancies and bye-elections to be conducted to 14.
“Accordingly, the Commission has released a Harmonized Timetable and Schedule of Activities for two constituencies. The Notice of Election shall be published on 26th August 2020 and political parties shall conduct their party primaries between 27th August and 8th September 2020.
“The harmonized Timetable and Schedule of Activities has been uploaded on the Commission’s website and social media platforms.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress APC will today begin screening of party aspirants for the elections.