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Politics of Thursday, 2 December 2021


We have capacity for direct, indirect primaries - INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has stated it is well equipped to monitor both the direct and the indirect mode of primary elections by political parties.

The commission however added that it would be at an extra cost.

Festus Okoye, the National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education of the body stated that they do not choose the mode of primaries political parties are to adopt.

“It is the constitutional and legal responsibility of the Commission to give effect to laws passed by the National Assembly. Moreover, direct primaries have been a feature of our electoral legal framework.

“The commission has monitored direct and indirect primaries organised by the different political parties. The commission does not dictate to political parties on the mode of primaries to adopt.

“The Commission is obligated to monitor the primaries of political parties in the centers designated by the political parties. Some political parties may designate the Polling Units of the Commission for the conduct of their primaries; some may designate the registration area centers (wards).

“Some may designate the Local Government Areas, some may designate a centre within the State. Some may stagger their primaries. So, the commission is not involved in the debate around direct and indirect primaries and will implement the law as signed by the President," he said.

The country is said to have a total number of 8908 registration areas and 774 local government areas.

In view of this, Okoye said, “Both direct and indirect primaries involve cost and personnel and the commission will at the appropriate time design its own matrix of actualising the intendment of the law.”

“It is rather unfortunate that the issue of direct or indirect primaries has overshadowed other fundamental issues in the Bill.

“However, it is difficult at this stage to speculate on the cost implications of direct primaries. As of today, the Bill is inchoate until the President assents to it.”

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