Election

2023 Election: INEC releases list of presidential candidates

todaySeptember 21, 2022 25 1

Background
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As the days draw near to the presidential and national assembly 2023 election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the final list of presidential, senatorial, and house of representatives candidates. Though the general elections will include the state constituencies and governorship, the published list covers the federal positions only.

This was contained in a circular released by the election body on Tuesday, 20th September 2022, and signed by the commission’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye Esq.

In the released statement, it was confirmed that the Commission approved the national election’s final list of candidates at its regular weekly meeting, which is according to section 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and item 8 of the 2023 General Election’s Timetable and Schedule of Activities.

The Commission warns against withdrawal or substitution of candidates as it was recalled that the chosen candidates of each political party follow their conduct of primaries and completion of the nomination exercise.

The statement reads,

“The publication of the full names and addresses of all nominated candidates follows the political parties’ conduct of primaries and completion of the nomination exercise.

Nigerians may recall that at the end of the process, the personal particulars of all nominated candidates were displayed in their constituencies nationwide as provided by section 29(3) of the Electoral Act.

Subsequently, validly nominated candidates had the opportunity to voluntarily withdraw their candidature by notice in writing and personally deliver such notice to the political party that nominated them for the election.

Thereafter, political parties substituted such candidates under section 31 of the Electoral Act, for which the last day was 15th July 2022 for national elections and 12th August 2022 for State elections as clearly provided in item 6 of the CCommission’sTimetable and Schedule of Activities.

Thereafter, no withdrawal or substitution of candidates is allowed except in the event of death as provided in section 34(1) of the Electoral Act or pursuant to an order of a Court of competent jurisdiction.

The list published today contains the names of candidates validly nominated for national elections at the close of party primaries and the period earmarked for withdrawal and substitution of candidates.” With strict observance of the 2023 General Election’s Timetable and Schedule of Activities, it was confirmed that the candidates for the governorship and state constituencies would be released on 4th October 2022.

Other parts of the release reads,

“We note the fact that not all the political parties conducted primaries in all the constituencies, submitted the particulars of candidates that emerged from valid primaries, or substituted their candidates after fresh primaries within 14 days as provided in section 33 of the Electoral Act.

This has led to numerous litigations, some of which are ongoing. Where the Commission was served with court orders by aggrieved aspirants or candidates before the publication of this list, these have been indicated under the remark column.” In summary, the list contains all the approved 18 political parties for the presidential election with their candidates and running mates.

“For legislative elections, 1,101 candidates are vying for 109 Senatorial seats and 3,122 candidates for Federal Constituencies i.e., House of Representatives seats, making a total of 4,223 candidates contesting for 469 legislative positions,” the statement reads.

Concerning gender distribution, the Commission explains, “3,875 candidates are male, made up of 35 for Presidential and Vice Presidential, 1,008 for Senate, and 2,832 for House of Representatives. Similarly, 381 females comprising 1 for the Presidential, 92 for the Senate, and 288 for the House of Representatives are contesting.” It was also mentioned that the published list contains 11 Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).

The statement affirms the availability of the published list in specific constituencies in each state and also stated that the comprehensive nationwide list had been uploaded to the commission’s website.

The Commission conclusively appealed in the statement to all political parties with any observation concerning the published list of candidates. They are to channel such to the Commission, aptly signed by the National Chairman and Secretary of their respective political parties, and rightly supported with an affidavit according to the provisions of section 32(2) of the Electoral Act 2022.

Written by: Deborah Oyinloye

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