Thursday 29th June, 2017
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APC, PDP can't contest Anambra Central rerun - INEC

APC, PDP can't contest Anambra Central rerun - INEC

The Independent Nation­al Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) cannot partic­ipate in the yet-to-be fixed An­ambra Central Senatorial Dis­trict rerun election.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said on Monday during a consultative meeting with the media in Abu­ja, that the decision was based on the principle of the commis­sion that any candidate of a po­litical party that is disqualified by the law court in any court-nullified election cannot be al­lowed to take part in the rerun.
He added that the political party will also not be allowed to substitute a candidate.
The AUTHORITY recalls that while the PDP candidate, Uche Ekwunife, was disqual­ified by the Election Petitions Tribunal, her APC counter­part, Dr. Chris Ngige, declined to participate in the proposed re-run, after he was appoint­ed the Minister of Labour and Employment by President Mu­hammadu Buhari.
Yakubu noted that the prin­ciple which has been practiced in several states becomes im­minent based on the fact that by the provisions of the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended), the time for replacement and substitution of candidates had elapsed.
He insisted that the same principle must be implement­ed in Anambra Central, noting that the commission cannot ap­ply one principle in a particu­lar state and a different one in the others.
Yakubu said: “The Anam­bra Central Senatorial election was among the 80 elections that were nullified after the 2015 ex­ercise. We were ordered to con­duct the re-run and we mobi­lised for that, but there were issues. It has been the standard practice of the commission that where an election is conducted, and nullified by the court on the account of candidate’s dis­qualification, the disqualified candidate cannot participate in the re-run election and the party of the disqualified candi­date cannot also nominate a re­placement. This is because the 60-day period for the nomina­tion of candidate for election has elapsed, and then the can­didate cannot be replaced be­cause the 40 days period for re­placement of candidate has also elapsed”.
“We are happy that not long ago, the Supreme Court has giv­en a favourable judgement on one of the cases. Also, the lower court has recently given a judge­ment stating that INEC was right on its decision,” he said.
Yakubu said that INEC had met with representatives of the political parties and agreed that based on those judgements, the commission would withdraw its case in the Appeal Court chal­lenging one of the decisions and “we urge the other parties to do the same and embrace the Alter­native Dispute Resolution pro­cess and with that we are sure that very soon we will overcome all other challenges to conduct the Anambra Central rerun, which is the only pending sen­atorial election in the country.”
Meanwhile, INEC has re­leased the timetable and sched­ule for the Anambra State gov­ernorship election, fixed for November 18, 2017
The commission said that the tenure of Governor Willie Obiano will expire on March 16, 2018, and in pursuant of Sec­tion 178(1) and (2) and Section 25(7) and (8) of the nation’s con­stitution, that the earliest date for the election into the office shall be October 18, 2017, while the latest date shall be February 4, 2018.
From the schedule, the com­mencement of campaign by as­pirants and political parties is August 18 while the collection of forms by political parties at the INEC office is between Au­gust 23 and 25. The political par­ties will also be expected to issue the nomination forms to their candidates on the same date, while all the parties are expect­ed to conclude their primaries, including the resolution of dis­putes from the exercise before September 2.
INEC asked the political parties to submit completed Form C001 and C002 before September 18 and the with­drawal and replacement of can­didates before October 4.
The commission will pub­lish the final list of candidates on October 19 and the submis­sion of names of political party agents will take place on Octo­ber 3, while campaign will end on November 16.
 

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