The reported adoption of Governor Obaseki as the consensus candidate of 35 political parties in the state who formed a coalition to support his re-election bid has generated reactions from different quarters with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announcing that since July 13, no political party can withdraw or substitute the candidate the party had sent to the commission.
INEC speaking through its National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, made it known that the window for any adjustment of the candidacy of any party had closed and as such all parties participating the forthcoming September 19 Edo State gubernatorial polls should stick to their candidates.
Mr. Okoye said the publication of the candidates’ name was in compliance with its Timetable and Schedule of Activities and in accordance with Section 34 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and that by Section 35 of the Electoral Act and the timetable and schedule of activities of the Commission, the withdrawal and substitution of candidates for the Edo governorship election ended on July 13, 2020.
In the statement by the commissioner, he said ‘INEC has in compliance with its timetable and schedule of activities and in accordance with Section 34 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) published the final list of candidates for the 2020 governorship election in Edo State by displaying it in the Commission’s offices in the State capital and the 18 Local Government Areas of Edo State. The list has also been uploaded on the Commission’s website.
‘By Section 35 of the Electoral Act and the timetable and schedule of activities of the Commission, the withdrawal and substitution of candidates for the Edo governorship election ended on July 13, 2020.
‘With the publication of the final list of candidates, no political party can withdraw or substitute any of the nominated candidates or tamper with the list and particulars of the candidates in a manner inconsistent with the intendment of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.
Mr. Festus therefore urged all political parties to pay close attention to the timelines stipulated in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities of the Commission as well as the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.
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