Regulations, guidelines for 2023 Poll to be ready in 10 months, says Yakubu

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says the regulations and guidelines for the 2023 general election will be ready in ten months.

This is contained in INEC Daily Bulletin issued on Tuesday.

Yakubu gave the hint, when he received a delegation from John D and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, in Abuja

The INEC Chairman recalled that in 2019, the Commission was constrained by time due to the uncertainty that trailed the electoral legal framework.

He said that he saw the Commission signing off on the Regulations and Guidelines on Jan. 19, 2019, few weeks to the election.

“But we hope that this time around we will sign off on the regulations and guidelines at least 10 months before the next general election, which is very good progress for us”.

Speaking further on the Commission’s source of power to develop the guidelines and regulations, the INEC Chairman said the commission was happy with the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Electoral Bill.

“We now have a new electoral law, on the bases of which we commenced work on the regulations and guidelines.

“Electoral Act cannot say everything, so the National Assembly donates part of its power to INEC to make Regulations and Guidelines and these Regulations and Guidelines have forms of subsidiary legislation.

He further disclosed that INEC had virtually finished the processes.

“Our Election Project Plan (EPP) is ready and about to be published, the Strategic Plan is already completed and published.

“We also publish and gazette the guidelines and send the three documents to the stakeholders and general public next month”.

Earlier in his remarks, the President of John D and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, John Palfrey, congratulated INEC for the successes achieved in areas where it made recommendations after 2019 general election.

He recalled that the foundation was able to visit in 2019 and discussed with INEC 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 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 are well in preparation for 2023”.

Palfrey explained that their mission at the Commission was to learn more about INECs plans for the 2023 general election .

“We also to thank you for your leadership at the international level and for your partnership with us as we seek to ensure government accountability and anti-corruption in countries around the world with particular focus on Nigeria.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the electoral act amendment bill into law on Feb. 25.

The legislation was transmitted to the president on Jan. 31 after both chambers of the national assembly had reworked it.

Buhari had initially rejected the bill after the national assembly made direct primary compulsory for political parties in the country.

The president said the provision “violates the spirit of democracy”.

It was on that basis the senate and house of representatives reworked the bill to provide for indirect and direct primary, as well as consensus candidates. (NAN)

•PHOTO: Mahmood Yakubu