- Category: Politics
- Published on Monday, 20 September 2010 08:14
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 1224
The Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] dropped a bombshell yesterday and called for the postponement of the 2011 general and presidential elections now scheduled to take place in January. It said it needed enough time to make proper preparations for the conduct of the elections. In a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day retreat for its National Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECS) at Tinapa in Calabar, Cross River State, INEC said the timeline for the implementation of its Action Plan for the election was “very tight and unrealisable.”
It said, “Having examined the Commission’s detailed Action Plan for the voter registration and elections, the Retreat noted that the timeline for the implementation of this Plan is very tight. Consequently, the Commission shall endeavour to engage all the relevant stakeholders with a view to exploring all legal avenues for extension of time to enable the Commission to deliver on the aspirations of Nigerians for a credible voters’ register and free, fair and credible elections. Should this happen, May 29 2011 inauguration date must remain sacrosanct.”
INEC also called on the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency and necessity reconvene from its two months recess to establish the Electoral Offences Tribunal (EOT) since “there is the need to severely punish electoral offenders to serve as deterrent to others.”
The communiqué signed by the Secretary of the Commission Abdullahi Kaugama further called on all political parties to strictly adhere to provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 and their Constitutions in the conduct of their congresses, conventions and primaries and said that INEC will ensure strict compliance to such provisions.
On the forthcoming voter registration exercise, INEC said it has developed an in-house software which will be rigorously field-tested before the commencement of the registration exercise.
“The Commission calls upon all Stakeholders to ensure that incidences of under-aged registration and other abnormalities are detected and prevented during the registration and display of Voters’ Register,” the communiqué also said.
The retreat was organised by INEC with the support of International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) at the Amber Hotel, Tinapa, Calabar between 16th and 19th of September 2010.