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Published On: Fri, Nov 6th, 2020

INEC to meet critical stakeholders before fixing date for 15 pending bye-elections

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By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said that it will consult all the critical stakeholders in the electoral process before deciding on a definite date for the conduct of the 15 outstanding bye-elections in 11 States of the Federation.
The elections were earlier scheduled for 31st October 2020, but were later postponed due to the #EndSARS protests across the country.
The Commission has similarly lamented that it suffered extensive damage to and vandalization of its local government offices and facilities, including the areas where the bye-elections are scheduled to hold.
The Prof Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC disclosed these yesterday at the end of a crucial meeting to further review the situation concerning the pending bye-elections.
Consequently, the Commission said will consult with political parties and civil society organisations, the media and Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) next week Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
A statement issued at the end of the meeting and signed by the Commission’s National Commissioner and Chairman,Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr Festus Okoye, explained that INEC will thereafter meet again with the Resident Electoral Commissioners on Thursday, to decide on a date for the conduct of the bye-elections.
According to the statement, “The public will recall that the Commission met on 22nd October 2020 with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to deliberate on the 15 outstanding bye-elections in 11 States of the Federation earlier scheduled for 31st October 2020.
“Due to the security situation in the country at the time, the Commission decided to suspend the bye-elections and meet in two weeks to review its decision.
“The Commission met today (yesterday), Thursday 5th November 2020, to further review the situation and decided that:
“The Commission suffered extensive damage to and vandalization of its local government offices and facilities, including the areas where the bye-elections are scheduled to hold.
“It is important to consult all the critical stakeholders in the electoral process before deciding on a definite date for the conduct of the bye-elections
“Consequently, the Commission will consult with political parties and civil society organisations on Tuesday 10th November 2020 and then with the media and Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Wednesday 11th November 2020. “The Commission will thereafter meet again with the Resident Electoral Commissioners on Thursday, 12th November 2020 to decide on a date for the conduct of the bye-elections.
“We appeal to all stakeholders to continue to cooperate with the Commission in its efforts to conduct credible elections under a safe and conducive environment”, it said.

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