INEC Announces Date for Kogi, Bayelsa Governorship Elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced November 2 2019 date for governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

The first term tenure of Kogi incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello would end on January 27, 2020, while his Bayelsa state counterpart, Seriake Dickson second term tenure ends on February 14, 2020.

The decision, the National Commissioner in-charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye in a statement was reached at the end of INEC’s meeting Tuesday.

According to the timetable and schedule of activities for the elections, parties are expected to produce their candidates between 2nd and 29th August 2019.

INEC stated campaigns by Political Parties in public shall commence on 2nd August 2019 and end on October 2019.

The statement reads, “The Commission at its meeting held today approved the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States which will hold in both Slates on Saturday 2nd November 2019.

“The official notice for both elections will be issued on 1st August 2019.

While political parties that intend to sponsor candidates are to hold their primaries for the nomination of such candidates from 2nd -29th August 2019.

“Campaigns by Political Parties in public shall commence on 2nd August 2019 and end on 31st October 2019.

“The parties sponsoring candidates are required to submit the list of their agents not later than 2nd October 2019.

“The stated timelines are in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). All stakeholders are urged to take cognizance of and adhere strictly to them. ”

Meanwhile, the commission has also approved the conduct of an extensive review and debriefing on the 201& general elections.

These reviews and debriefing will take place between May and June 20l9.

The Commission met today and approved a proposal to conduct an extensive review and debriefing on the 20l9 general elections in line with its existing practice.

This is intended to evaluate the Commission’s performance of the key activities of the general elections. with a view to addressing identified challenges and strengthening operational and institutional capacities to conduct free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.

The review will focus on the planning organization, conduct and coordination of the general elections particularly on the following: Logistics procurement and deployment of personnel and materials; Continuous Voter Registration and Collection of permanent voter’s cards; Legal environment of the elections particularly the legal challenges experienced over nomination of candidates and conduct of elections; Processes of party registration.

Others are; Party primaries and nomination of candidates; Quality of ad hoc staff; Relationship between the Commission and diverse stakeholders including political panics security agencies, civil society organizations, the media and development partners; and Quality of inclusivity of the elections,  particularly regarding persons with disability, lDPs and gender balance.

Two sets of activities are envisaged in the reviews as follows:  internal reviews involving National Commissioners, Resident Electoral Commissioners, Electoral Officers, Collation and Returning Officers as well as other key staff of the Commission; Review meetings with key stakeholders such as political panics, civil society organizations, security agencies, the media and development partners.

The Commission he revealed has also commenced work on a comprehensive report of the 2019 general elections and has mandated its Electoral Institute to undertake detailed researches into various aspects of the elections.

“It is the Commission’s hope that the outcomes of these reviews and studies will feed into further electoral reforms and its preparations for handing and future elections,” he further stated.

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