Professor Jega writes Senate – INEC Plans Presidential Poll for April 9, Voters Registration to Commence January

No Comments » October 10th, 2010 posted by // Categories: Elections 2011



Professor Jega writes Senate – INEC Plans Presidential Poll for April 9, Voters Registration to Commence January

Sunday, 10 October 2010 02:42 Theophilus Abbah & Onimisi Alao


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has proposed that the next presidential election should be held by April 9, 2011 while the much-awaited voters registration exercise should hold in January 2011.

This was contained in a letter signed by INEC’s chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, to the Senate dated September 29, 2010, on the proposed schedule for 2011 elections as the lawmakers are warming up to consider amendments to the 2010 Electoral Act to create more time for adequate preparations for the elections.
In his letter, Professor Attahiru Jega said, “The extension of time sought will enable the Commission to have more time to train ad-hoc staff for the registration exercise and for the conduct of the 2011 elections. The commission will also gain more time to engage in intensive voter education campaign.”
The INEC boss added that if the extension is approved, “The Commission will have enough time to plan the logistics of deploying staff and materials to all the registration centres and polling units across the country. There will be more time for political parties to conduct their affairs, particularly primaries in the light of far-reaching changes in the new Electoral Act.”
The proposal by INEC indicated that a 15-day registration of voters would begin on January 8, and display the register ‘for claims and objections’ between January 27 and February 2, 2011.
The fresh timetable, which INEC calls its ‘preferred option’ also shows that conduct of party primaries should begin at any moment approved but should be concluded by December 31, 2010.
Collection of Form CF002 (Personal particulars of candidates), and Form CF002 (List of party candidates) is fixed for December 15 to 22, 2010.
If the Senate accepts the timetable, the National Assembly election would now hold on April 2, 2011; to be followed by presidential election on April 9, and then governorship and state assembly elections on April 16.
INEC says runoffs for governorship and presidential elections, if any, would be held within seven days after the announcement of the result of the respective elections.
INEC has often justified its request for more time by the need to compile a credible register of voters and prepare well for the elections. The Commission said it lost valuable time between when it was inaugurated and when President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Electoral Act 2010 into law.

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