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Sunday, February 25, 2024

INEC announces February 2024 for rerun, bye-elections across Nigeria

Chairman Mahmood Yakubu Briefs Political Leaders on Upcoming Polls, Emphasizes the Need for Fresh Primaries

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In a strategic move to address existing vacancies in state and federal legislatures, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed its plan to conduct rerun and bye-elections across the country in February 2024. INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made this announcement during a meeting with political party leaders in Abuja on Monday, outlining the preparations for the upcoming elections.

Yakubu clarified the distinction between rerun and bye-elections, highlighting that rerun elections involve the parties and candidates from the general elections, with the exception of replacing a deceased candidate. In contrast, bye-elections are considered fresh elections.

He informed party leaders that, following the conclusion of litigation, the courts had mandated the commission to conduct rerun elections in 34 federal and state constituencies. These include one in the Senate, 11 federal constituencies, and 22 state constituencies. The Chairman emphasized that the reruns would be held concurrently with bye-elections, and political parties must conduct new primaries within the stipulated legal timeframe.

“The purpose of this meeting is to brief party leaders on the commission’s preparation for the forthcoming elections to be held early in the new year. The elections are in two categories,” Yakubu explained. “Consequently, political parties must conduct fresh primaries within the limited period of time provided by law.”

Yakubu acknowledged that the Election Petition Appeal Tribunals, established in the aftermath of the 2023 general elections, had ordered rerun elections in 34 constituencies. While expressing optimism about INEC’s performance, he stated, “So far, the Election Petition Appeal Tribunals have ordered the commission to conduct rerun elections in 34 constituencies made up of one senatorial district, 11 federal constituencies, and 22 state Assembly constituencies.”

He assured party leaders that, following the conclusion of all litigation, including pending governorship elections at the Supreme Court, INEC would present a comprehensive analysis of petitions, outlining the decisions of the courts and lessons learned from the 2023 general elections to guide future electoral reforms.

“The commission is looking at the first week of February 2024, i.e., in just a little over one month, to conduct both the rerun and bye-elections,” Yakubu concluded.

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