Ondo State Governorship Elections
Countdown to Saturday, 10 October 2020, 08:00:00 (Lagos time)

OUTSTANDING BYE ELECTIONS: INEC BEGINS STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATIONS

In fulfillment of its promise to consult critical stakeholders before fixing a new date for the conduct of the 15-outstanding bye-elections across 11 states which was earlier scheduled for 31st October 2020, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has held consultative meetings with Political Parties and Civil Society Organizations (CSO).
Acting Chairman of the Commission, AVM Ahmed Mu’azu (rtd), chaired both separate meetings today (Tuesday, 10th November) in Abuja. Speaking at the commencement of the meeting, AVM Mu’azu said “as you would recall, the Commission had fixed 31st October, 2020 for the outstanding bye-elections.  However, the elections could not hold as scheduled due to the security situation in the country at the time and the Commission promised to review the situation after two weeks”.

“Following a review of the situation with our Resident Electoral Commissioners, we are of the view that it would be appropriate to consult with all stakeholders, especially our most primary stakeholder before fixing a date for the bye-elections”.
He used the opportunity to appreciate the immense contribution of the Political Parties and the CSOs to the success achieved in the recently conducted off season, end of tenure governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.

According to the Acting INEC Chairman “the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections have come and gone and acclaimed as credible and peaceful. The Commission sincerely appreciates the role played by the leadership of political parties and their candidates, CSOs towards ensuring that the elections were generally peaceful and safe within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

He continued: “all your effort, including the signing and keeping to the letter and spirit of the “peace accord” and adherence to the Commissions Voters Code of Conduct for Elections during to COVID-19 Pandemic is fully acknowledged. Nevertheless, the Commission feels that there is room for improvement. We would therefore welcome your feedback on the conduct of elections”.

AVM Mu’azu hinted on plans to resume the nation-wide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise which was suspended in August last year.
His words: “on the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), the Commission intends to roll out the nationwide programme in the first quarter of 2021. Work is in progress towards that goal. We need your inputs to guarantee its smooth-take-off and hitch-free conduct of the exercise”.
In their separate responses, representatives of both stakeholder groups commended the Commission for its openness and enthusiasm towards an all-inclusive electoral process and reaffirmed their continued support for the Commission.
Speaking on behalf of the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC), Chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC), Leonard Nzenwa, condoled the Commission over the destruction of some of its critical facilities during the #ENDSARS protests that rocked the country. He assured that the political parties are working to ensure the political environment is stabilized.

Faith Nwadishi, of the Centre for Transparency Advocacy, who responded on behalf of CSOs at their own meeting also pledged support for the Commission in reforming the electoral space. She further gave assurance of their commitment towards observing the process to ensure a rounded development of the electoral system.

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