The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that the continued delay in the assent to the Electoral Act (2010) amendment bill may have an impact on the implementation of the new changes for the 2023 general elections.
The commission stated that, while it functions under an existing legislative framework, it is critical to have a statute in place that would lead the elections at least 12 to 18 months prior to the election.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye stated this in an interview with Saturday PUNCH on Thursday.
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He said, “The commission operates on the basis of the existing legal regime. The commission released the timetable and schedule of activities for the Ekiti and Osun states governorship elections based on the extant and existing constitutional and electoral legal framework.
“The commission does not operate on the basis of speculation and deductions. Yes, the commission is aware of the pendency of a bill to amend the existing legal regime. That bill is still inchoate and does not become law until it is signed by the President and or the National Assembly determines otherwise.
“Hopefully, issues around the amended law will soon be resolved. It is important to have the legal regime in place at least 12 to 18 months before a major election. It is also important to resolve the issues based on the differential timelines in the existing electoral act and the one that is projected in the bill.”