INEC reschedules pending by-elections for Dec 5

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All the 15 pending by-elections in 11 states will now come up on December 5, according to a time table released on Friday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The by-elections were originally slated for October 31 but were suspended following the #ENDSARS protests and the mayhem that followed.

INEC’s offices in some states were attacked during the mayhem.

The Commission said the new date was chosen on Friday after consultations with stakeholders in the affected  states.

The commission’s  National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said in a statement on Friday that INEC “believes that security in the affected states has improved while the environmental challenges have reasonably abated.”

He said:  ”The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met today (yesterday) November 13, 2020 and, among other things, reviewed the outcome of its quarterly engagements and consultations with critical stakeholders in the electoral process, and further reviewed the security situation and other challenges regarding the 15 pending bye-elections in 11 states.

“It will be recalled that the Commission met on 22nd October 2020 with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to deliberate on the said bye-elections earlier scheduled to hold on October 31, 2020 but postponed on account of the security situation and other environmental challenges in the country.

“The Commission met again on Thursday, 5th November 2020 and reviewed the situation. It noted among other things the extensive damage to and vandalization of its local government offices and facilities, which affected some areas where the bye-elections are scheduled to hold. Consequently, the Commission decided to consult critical stakeholders in the electoral process before deciding on a definite date for the conduct of the by-elections.

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“The Commission consulted with Political Parties and Civil Society Organizations on Tuesday 10th November 2020 and with the Media and the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Wednesday 11th November 2020. Finally, it met with all Resident Electoral Commissioners on Thursday, 12th November 2020.

“Based on these consultations, the Commission believes that security in the affected states has improved while the environmental challenges have reasonably abated.

“Consequently, the Commission has decided to hold all the pending by-elections on Saturday December 5, 2020.

“The Commission acknowledges the support, understanding and cooperation of political parties, the security agencies, the media, civil society organisations and the general public as it considers the scheduling of the by-elections and in its overall efforts to reposition the electoral process and give meaning and value to the votes of the people.”

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