The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reaffirmed that it will close the candidate nomination portal for the 2023 general elections at 6:00 p.m. on June 17 for national elections and at 6:00 p.m. on July 15 for national elections.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu gave the warning to political parties during the commission’s meeting with Resident Election Commissioners (RECs) on Thursday in Abuja.
Mr. Yakubu reminded political parties that all party primaries for 2023 end on Thursday, June 9, while the nomination of candidates began on June 10.
“For the next week starting tomorrow (June 10), all political parties are required to submit their list of candidates for national elections (presidential/vice-presidential, senatorial and house of representatives) no later than Friday (June 17) .
“For State Elections (Governorate/Vice-Governorate and State Houses of Assembly), the list of candidates will be uploaded from July 1 to July 15, as already scheduled in the timetable and schedule of activities for the elections of 2023 already published by the Commission.
“All political parties are required to upload their candidate details for each constituency to the INEC Candidate Nomination Portal (ICNP).”
Mr. Yakubu added that to achieve the goal, four officials recommended by each of the 18 political parties have been trained in the procedure of uploading nomination forms on the dedicated web portal.
He said that confidential access codes to the portal had already been assigned to each political party to facilitate the uploading of their candidacies.
“To emphasize, the Commission wishes to remind political parties that only the names of candidates from the democratic primaries, as provided for in Article 84 of the Electoral Law of 2022, should be submitted to the Commission.
“Similarly, the list of all presidential and gubernatorial nominees must be accompanied by the names of their running mates (i.e., vice-presidential and deputy governor nominees) without which the appointment is invalid.
“All applications must be uploaded to the portal on or before the deadlines. The portal will be automatically closed at 6:00 p.m. on Friday (June 17) for national elections and at 6:00 p.m. on Friday (July 15) for national elections.
“With this innovation, the Commission has eliminated the physical interface between party officials and INEC staff for the purpose of submitting the list of candidates for the 2023 general election,” Yakubu said.
He also revealed that a nomination center has been set up at the headquarters of the commission to receive and process all nominations from political parties for the 2023 general elections.
He said the center includes dedicated phone lines to act as a help desk for any party that may need assistance.
Yakubu, who led reporters to the nomination center at INEC headquarters, said INEC expects each political party to nominate around 1,500 candidates for the 2023 general election within the window. available for exercise.
He clarified that the center was primarily for INEC staff to process applications submitted by political parties, and not for the use of political parties as they could upload their applications from anywhere.
He, however, advised political parties not to wait until the last day to start uploading their applications to the commission’s dedicated portal as the deadline remained sacrosanct.
“My advice to political parties is that since they have completed their primaries, they should start uploading from tomorrow, Friday June 10.
“Let them not wait until the last day, which is June 17, because if there are difficulties on the last day, they will not be able to download after 6:00 p.m.
“So let them start uploading earlier so that when there are issues they can be dealt with before 6:00 p.m., but this center is basically for the commission. No more human interface.
He said the portal would record the exact time and other details of a political party logged into the portal to deal with the situation where a political party rushes into the INEC office at the last minute, rushing to beat the deadline.