Politics

INEC Insists Presidential elections come first

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The Independent National Electoral Commission says it is standing by its decision to hold the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections on the same day while the governorship and state legislative elections will come next.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this at the quarterly consultative meeting with the media in Abuja on Monday.

INEC had announced last year that the presidential and National Assembly elections would hold on February 16, 2019 while the governorship, state assembly and area council elections in the Federal Capital Territory would take place on March 2, 2019.

The National Assembly, however, opposed the sequence of the election and amended the Electoral Act such that the National Assembly election would hold first while the presidential election would come last.

The bill has since been transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

However, the INEC boss said the commission would continue to prepare for elections based on its own schedule since it could not make plans based on speculation.

Yakubu said, “There are many ‘ifs’ but here, we deal with certainty. As far as the commission is concerned, there is no legal lacuna at the moment. What we have done is on the basis of the existing law and nothing has changed.

“If the bill is accented to, we will look at the provisions and inform Nigerians on the next step. But as far as the commission is concerned at the moment, we are operating under the existing law and we have issued a timetable for the activities accordingly.

“If something happens tomorrow, we will examine it and proceed accordingly.”

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