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Published On: Tue, Apr 8th, 2014

Voter registration timetable out soon – Jega

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INEC-Attahiru-JegaBy Ikechukwu Okaforadi with agency reports

Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Monday said the timetable for Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) would be released soon.

This is coming as the Commission has said about 200 electoral offenders had been prosecuted by the commission.

Jega announced this at an interactive session with Editors and News Directors organised by INEC in collaboration with UNDP’s Democratic Governance for Democracy (DGD) project in Abuja.

Jega said the commission was working to improve on the integrity of voter register before the 2015 general elections.

He added that the register in Ekiti and Osun had been updated ahead of the governorship elections and assured that CVR would be completed in all the states by September.

He identified lack of ICT as one of the challenges facing the conduct of the registration.

Jega said the commission would ensure extensive and comprehensive voter education before 2015 elections and enjoined the media to show its social responsibility in educating voters.

The chairman also said the commission was ready to conduct elections in spite of the security challenges, adding, “we are ready to conduct elections in a any situation we find ourselves.’’

He, however, said it was important to conduct elections under a conducive atmosphere to ensure credible polls, stressing that INEC was mindful of the security challenges confronting the nation.

On those being prosecuted b INEC, Jega said that the offenders were prosecuted from 2011to date, adding that many suspects of electoral offences were awaiting trial.

He said prosecuting the suspects had been difficult and time-consuming for the commission, adding that INEC had proposed the establishment of an electoral tribunal to reduce the burden.

“We have made a request to the National Assembly for the creation of an electoral tribunal to unbundle the commission,” he said.

Jega said that the “win-at-all-cost” attitude of politicians was a huge challenge to the electoral process in the country.

He accused political parties of breaching the provisions of party guidelines in conducting primary elections and alleged that there had also been breaches of the Electoral Act in respect of campaign by political parties.

“There have been breaches in terms of campaign in accordance with the guidelines but we will see how we can persecute them,” he said.

He announced that the commission would soon come up with new guidelines on campaign, saying that there was need to fine-tune the guidelines.

He said that INEC had always engaged 300,000 corps members as ad hoc staff during elections adding that using corps members at elections had minimised electoral fraud in the country.

“We have reduced fraud significantly by using ad hoc staff as against the use of primary school teachers in the past,” he said, adding that some corps members had been jailed for electoral fraud.

 

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