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INEC commits to monitoring party campaign spending

By on September 29, 2022 0

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised to monitor political party campaigns and spending for the 2023 general elections to ensure compliance with the laws.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said this during the signing of the peace agreement for the peaceful campaign organized by the National Peace Committee (NPC) on Thursday in Abuja.

Yakubu said this would be done to ensure parties avoid abusive language and adhere to election spending limits.

He said the 2022 electoral law provided that political parties’ public campaigns should start no earlier than 150 days before polling day, whose national elections had officially started on September 28.

He added that the campaign would continue until 24 hours before election day (February 23, 2023) for national elections (presidential and National Assembly) and March 9, 2023 for state elections (governance and chambers of government). Assembly).

“The implication is that for the next 148 days, political parties, candidates and their supporters are free to cross the country holding meetings, rallies, marches and door-to-door campaigning.

“They will give interviews, sponsor indoor and outdoor advertisements and release other campaign materials. This is often a delicate time characterized by excitement and anxiety.

“In accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and in our determination to play our role as regulator, the Commission will vigorously monitor compliance.

“Ensure that parties avoid abusive, intemperate or libelous remarks as well as insinuations or insinuations likely to cause a breakdown of public order during election campaigns.

“Similarly, the Commission will also closely monitor compliance with campaign spending limits under the Elections Act. Sanctions are provided for by law.

“Political parties and candidates must study and familiarize themselves with the electoral legal framework to avoid any violation of the law and the unfortunate consequences that will follow any criminal act.

Yakubu therefore urged all political party candidates to show their appreciation for the work of the NPC by respecting and showing their commitment to the peace agreement they signed.

“Therefore, the commitment to a peaceful and issue-oriented election campaign should resonate beyond the 18 party chairmen and presidential candidates present here today.

“It is not enough to simply sign the Peace Accord. The most important thing is to respect the letter and the spirit.

“You should also take the message to all your candidates, members and supporters across the country for compliance.

“It will be your own way of showing your appreciation for the work of the APN and an affirmation of your contribution to electoral peace in Nigeria.”

Yakubu revealed that the 2023 general elections will be held in 1,491 constituencies nationwide, consisting of a presidential constituency, 28 gubernatorial elections, 109 senatorial constituencies, 360 federal constituencies, and 993 federal constituencies. the State Assembly.

He commended NPC Chairman, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, as well as the organizer and committee members, saying INEC appreciated their partnership for peaceful elections.

He said the signing of the peace accord, which began during the 2015 general elections, continued to yield positive results.

“The result is not only the peaceful conduct of these elections, but the process continues to improve from election to election,” Yakubu said.

Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Amb. Samuela Isopi urged Nigeria to continue to take decisive steps to seek further consolidation of democracy and peaceful, inclusive, credible and transparent elections.

Isopi said that as the largest democracy in Africa, the Nigerian elections are important, not only for Nigeria, but also for the future of democracy in West Africa and on the continent.

“Nigeria has an opportunity to help reverse the trend of undemocratic power change and leadership, to consolidate democracy in the region and beyond.

“As political party leaders and presidential candidates, you have a vital role to play in ensuring peaceful elections by engaging in peaceful and issue-oriented campaigning, taking a strong stance against violence, against hate speech, disinformation and fake news.

“As you well know, in politics words matter and as political leaders you are role models for your candidates, for your supporters, for voters and for citizens,” Isopi said.

The Ambassador called for the necessary support to INEC to organize credible elections, while also calling on security agencies to demonstrate neutrality and professionalism in conducting credible elections.

“We must maintain neutrality and ensure the safety of all activists and voters and especially women, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups,” Isopi said.

She also called on the media as watchdogs and public educators to adhere to their own common code of conduct.

Isopi expressed the commitment and support of the international community, especially the European Union and its Member States, especially for peaceful elections in Nigeria.

“But also to underline our impartiality. We are not here to support any particular party or any particular candidate.

“We are here at your invitation to support the process with international expertise, independent observation and support to key institutions.

“We pledge to continue supporting the consolidation of the democratic process in Nigeria with our technical support, sharing of experiences and good practices and our political commitments.”

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