Ahead of the amendment to the 2010 Electoral Act, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday rolled out a fresh time table and schedule of activities for staggered 2011 elections begining with the National Assembly elections on April 2, 2011. The Presidential election now holds on April 9 while the Governorship and State Assembly elections have been scheduled for April 16, 2011.
Announcing the new election time table at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja last night, INaaEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega said the new time table superseded the one earlier released on September 7, but had to be discarded due to loss of time.
Sounding a note of warning that the Commission would not tolerate any infraction of the rules and regulations guiding the election at a press conference attended by National Commissioners of the Commission, Professor Jega disclosed that the political parties were free to start their campaigns from December 1, 2010. Registration of Voters will be carried put between January 15 and 29, 2011. Citing relevant sections of the expected Electoral Act amendment, the INEC boss said all the arrangements are in tandem with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the anticipated amendments to the Electoral Act.
In the 26-item programme of electoral activities, the Voter’s Registration exercise begins on January 15, 2011 and ends on the 29th.. The first electoral activity begins with the issuance of notice of election on January 23, and the commencement of conduct of party primaries running through January 26 to 30th, 2011
The political parties, Jega said could embark on campaigns in public places as from December 1 and end the campaigns 24 hours to the day of each election. Registration of voters which has been scheduled for January 15 will end on January 29 with the display of Voter’s Register for claims and objections coming up between February 3 and 8, 2011.
The last day for the withdrawal by candidates and substitution of withdrawn candidates by political parties will run from February 14, for National Assembly candidate, February 21, for Presidential candidate and February 28 for Governorship and State Assembly candidates.
INEC will publish the final official Voter’s Register for elections on March 2, 2011.
Collection of nomination forms is between February 7 and 10, 2011 while the publication of nominated candidates will run from March 2 to 16, 2011.
Run offs for governorship and Presidential eolections, if any, will be held within seven days after the announcement of the results of the respective elections in line with sections 179 (4) (5) and 134 (4) (5) respectively of the Constitution..