The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has finally issued detailed timetable of activities leading to the next general elections in 2019.
According to the time table issued by the commission, all the political parties are expected to submit to INEC names of its presidential candidates latest on December 3, 2018.
It said the earlier approved election timetable which scheduled the presidential and National Assembly elections for February 16 and governorship and state assembly polls for March 2, 2019 still stands.
Addressing journalists at the headquarters of the commission yesterday evening, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the only adjustment is that the area council election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will now hold simultaneously on the same date with the governorship elections.
While fielding questions from journalists, Yakubu said the commission would go ahead with the rerun election for Anambra Central Senate seat fixed for January 13.
Giving details of the approved timetable, he said henceforth, presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on the third Saturday of the month of February of each election year, while governorship and state assembly elections will hold two weeks later.
The INEC boss said the commission would conduct elections for 1,558 constituencies made up of one presidential constituency, 29 governorship constituencies out of 36 states, 109 senatorial districts, 360 federal constituencies , 991 state assembly constituencies, six area council chairmen as well as 62 councilor ship positions for the FCT.
Highlights of the detailed timetable approved at its meeting yesterday in Abuja gave all the political parties a deadline of December 3 to submit their candidates for the presidential election.
Publication of notice for national and state election would be done on August 17, 2018, while that of the FCT area council elections would be done on September 3 this year.
According to the INEC timetable, collection of nomination forms by political parties for national and state elections will be done between August 11 and 24, 2018, while conduct of primaries, including resolution of disputes for national and state elections, will be between August 18 and October 7, 2018. Also, primaries for FCT area council elections will be between September 4 and October 27, 2018.
The INEC timetable also fixed commencement of campaigns for the presidential and National Assembly election on November 18, 2018, and will end February 14, 2019. For the governorship and state assembly elections, the campaign will commence December 1, 2018, and end on February 28, 2019.
While speaking on the uncertainty over the lingering rerun election for the Anambra Central Senatorial seat, Yakubu said the commission has not changed its position to hold the election on January 13 in obedience to the Appeal Court ruling which ordered it to conduct the said poll not later than 90 days from the date of the judgment.
“We are going by the orders of the Court of Appeal, and so there will be election for the Anambra Central senatorial rerun on January 13 as scheduled,” he said.
The INEC boss also said the committee set up to advise the commission on the creation of additional polling units has concluded its work and that very soon, the commission will make its position known.
He also said the commission would this week issue registration certificates to new political parties.