Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said regulations and guidelines for the 2023 general elections will be ready next month.
The commission noted that the decision to release the regulations and guidelines was in line with the assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
Bibian Anekwe News understands that INEC had scheduled the presidential and National Assembly elections for February 25, 2023.
A clause in the recently approved electoral act, however, requires that the guidelines and regulations for the 2023 general elections be ready 10 months ahead of time.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday when he received a delegation from John D and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation led by its president, John Palfrey, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said: “The Electoral Act has been repealed and re-enacted. It was not just a question of the amendment, the amendments were so extensive. So, eventually, the National Assembly repealed and re-enacted the Electoral Act.
“This is the 3rd time since 1999 when the country is repealing and re-enacting the Electoral Act.
We’ve virtually finished the processes. Our Election Project Plan (EPP) is ready and about to be published. The strategic plan is already completed and published, and we also publish and gazette the guidelines and send the three documents to the stakeholders and general public next month.”
The INEC boss recalled that in 2019, INEC was constrained by time due to the uncertainty that trailed the electoral legal framework which saw the commission signing off on the regulations and guidelines a few weeks before the elections.
Meanwhile, Palfrey had earlier congratulated INEC for the successes achieved in areas where it made recommendations after the 2019 general elections.
He said: “I wish also to recall having been able to visit in 2019 and we discussed several things that were underway at that time. One was the progress of the Electoral Act, and I’d like to congratulate you on the passage of the Electoral Act.
“Second, we discussed and encouraged the creation of a new department on gender and inclusivity here at INEC and I congratulate you on the creation of this department and the successful implementation.
“The third thing we discussed was the creation of new polling units and I understand that these too have been completed and that you’re well in preparation for 2023.”
Palfrey said their visit was to learn more about INEC’s plans for the 2023 general elections and also to thank the commission for its leadership at the international level.
Bibian Anekwe News