Primaries: INEC’s insistence on June 3 deadline illegal – APC chieftain | Dailytrust

Primaries: INEC’s insistence on June 3 deadline illegal – APC chieftain

INEC Chairman, Yakubu Mahmood
INEC Chairman, Yakubu Mahmood

The insistence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that all political parties must conclude their primaries before June 3, 2022, is unreasonable and illegal, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has said.

Olawepo-Hashim, who pulled out from the presidential race last week, warned against what he called an attempt by INEC to stampede the political parties over the conduct of their primaries.

He said, “Party primaries are an integral part of the democratic process, and it is bewildering that INEC is not even interested in debates between aspirants, which remains a huge opportunity to define party platforms.”

According to him, while the Electoral Act is clear that parties have 180 days to election to submit their nominations, which is in August, it seems what the “INEC wants is just for parties to gather somewhere and select candidates anyhow.”

He equally argued that while the INEC had the power to draw elections timetable, it had no such power over the timetable for party primaries.

He said, “The timetable for primaries is the internal affair of political parties in so far as they do not violate the Electoral Act.

“The right for political parties to internally regulate themselves is an essential part of their freedom of association, in as much as their actions do not violate the constitution and the Electoral Act.”

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