Campaign for the 2019 general elections will commence on August 17, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared yesterday while releasing the sequence for the polls.
The electoral umpire said it would formally lift the ban on political activities for the 2019 general elections on August 17.
According to the timetable, political parties were given December 3 and 17, 2018 deadline to submit their presidential and governorship candidates for the election while party primaries, including resolution of disputes arising therefrom, will hold between August 18 and October 7 this year.
Election campaign for the national and state election will commence on November 18 and December 1 respectively and will end on February 14, 2019 for the presidential and National Assembly elections, and February 28 for the governorship, state Assembly and FCT Area Council elections.
INEC had, March last year, fixed February 16, 2019 for the presidential and National Assembly elections while governorship, state House of Assembly and Area Council polls into the six Area Councils of the Federal Capital Ter- ritory (FCT), Abuja will hold on March 2, 2019.
Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at a press conference, noted that under the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), there are certain steps from the publication of notice of election to the conduction of polls to be adhered to.
“The sequence of the polls begins with the presidential and National Assembly elections, followed by governorship, state Assembly and FCT Area Council elections,” Prof. Yakubu said.
He implored the cooperation of the political parties. His words: “For us to succeed, we need the support and cooperation of all stakeholders. “I wish to seize this opportunity to remind political parties, candidates and other stakeholders that election is a process governed by law.
“The commission expects full adherence to the provisions of the Constitution and Electoral Act which form the basis of the detailed timetable and schedule of activities,” Yakubu stated.
He re-emphasised that the decision of INEC to fix election dates was “to engender certainty in our electoral calendar and to enable all stakeholders to prepare adequately for elections, as is the case in many mature and developing democracies.”
According to INEC Chairman, in 2019, it will conduct elections into 1,558 constituencies comprising “one presidential constituency, 29 governorship constituencies out of 36 (7 governorship elections are staggered and conducted off-cycle), 109 senatorial districts, 360 Federal Constituencies, 991 State Assembly constituencies, six Area Council Chairmen as well as 62 councillorship positions for the FCT. ”
Meanwhile, the commission said it will still go ahead with Saturday’s Anambra Central senatorial rerun election despite a Federal High Court judgement that ordered for the swearing-in of a PDP candidate.
Yakubu stated that the decision to go ahead with the Anambra rerun poll was based on the order of Court of Appeal. “We have not issued a statement that there will be no rerun election in Anambra Central senatorial district.
So, there will be rerun election on Saturday,” he assured.