The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained the legal process of substituting a candidate.
INEC yesterday outlined the conditions ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
The Commission said such candidates should write a notice and personally deliver it to the political parties that nominated them.
The Commission disclosed this when the final list of candidates for state elections was released.
According to the statement by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, “validly nominated candidates have the opportunity to voluntarily withdraw their candidature by notice in writing and personally deliver such notice to the political party that nominated them for the election.
“Thereafter, political parties will substitute such candidates under Section 31 of the Electoral Act for which the last day was 12th August 2022 for state elections as clearly provided in Item 6 of the Commission’s Timetable and Schedule of Activities. Thereafter, no withdrawal or substitution of candidates is allowed except in the event of death as provided in Section 34(1) of the Electoral Act or pursuant to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction”.
He added: “Pursuant to Section 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and item 8 of the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election, the Commission today 4th October 2022 published the final list of candidates for state elections (governorship and state assembly constituencies).
“The publication of the full names of candidates standing nominated for state elections follows the political parties’ conduct of primaries and completion of the nomination exercise. It will be recalled that at the end of the process, political parties that conducted valid primaries uploaded the list and personal particulars of all nominated candidates to the Commission’s candidate’s nomination portal and the subsequent display in their constituencies nationwide as provided by Section 29(3) of the Electoral Act.
“Subsequently, validly nominated candidates had the opportunity to voluntarily withdraw their candidature by notice in writing and personally delivered such notice to the political party that nominated them for the election. Thereafter, political parties substituted such candidates under section 31 of the Electoral Act for which the last day was 12th August 2022 for State Elections as clearly provided in item 6 of the Commission’s Timetable and Schedule of Activities.
“ Thereafter, no withdrawal or substitution of candidates is allowed except in the event of death as provided in section 34(1) of the Electoral Act or pursuant to an order of a Court of competent jurisdiction”.
The statement also informed that, “in summary, the 18 political parties have fielded 837 candidates and their running mates for the 28 Governorship elections that fall due in 2023. For State Assembly elections, 10, 231 candidates are vying for 993 State Assembly seats.
“The list for specific constituencies is published in each State where they are located while the comprehensive nationwide 894-page list has been uploaded to the Commission’s website.
“Political parties are required to channel any observations on the list of candidates to the Commission and such must be signed by the National Chairman and Secretary of the political party”.
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