2019: INEC Raises Alarm Over Early Campaigns In Abia State
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abia state is raising alarm over early campaigns by politicians as against the electoral act and guidelines stipulating time for its commencement.
Dr. Joseph Iloh, the state's Resident Electoral Commissioner, who made the observation in Umuahia, warned that the commission would invoke necessary sanctions against defaulters if they don't desist.
"We want to use this medium to appeal to our politicians to do the needful, curtail their excesses.
It appears the campaign is in full blast and that is against the law. The Electoral act specified period of campaigns but it appears politicians are beating the gun by moving ahead of time.
“As an umpire, we need to call them to order. Bill boards, rallies, radio jingles are everywhere. It should be curtailed. The Electoral Act, article 99 specifies that campaigns should commence 90 days to the election and stops 24 hours to the election day proper, but what we have here is an abuse of the process.
“We have over 200 days to election, but campaign is already in full swing for all the parties and we are calling on them to have a rethink."
On the continuous voter registration, REC boss disclosed that the commission is targeting to register two million voters, adding that so far, 1.6 million persons have been registered in the exercise. He advised traditional rulers, religious leaders and interest groups to take up the campaigns.
"We are embarking on structured movement where we visit a place with over 30 cluster of unregistered efforts for some convenience. This is designed to ensure that nobody is left out."
Iloh said the commission would begin distribution of permanent voters card (PVC) for voters who registered in 2017 from next week.
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