INEC holds supplementary state elections on March 23 – Independent Observers

INEC holds supplementary state elections on March 23

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By Andy Chukwu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that it would conduct supplementary elections on March 23 in states where the exercise was put on hold due to violence or other reasons.

Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, announced this decision late Tuesday in a statement. He said the Commission met and reviewed the conduct of the 29 Governorship and 991 State constituency elections held on 9th March 2019. The Commission had declared winners in the Governorship elections in 22 states.

‘However, the Returning Officers in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto States declared the Governorship elections inconclusive. Consequently, the Commission will conduct supplementary elections on Saturday 23rd March 2019 to conclude the process. Supplementary elections will also hold in polling units in all States where State Assembly elections were declared inconclusive and winners could not be declared. Details of the constituencies including number of polling units and registered voters, will be published on our website tomorrow Wednesday 13th March 2019,″ he said.

Okoye said the elections were declared inconclusive for a combination of reasons, mainly the discontinuation of use of the Smart Card Readers midway into the elections or the failure to deploy them, over-voting and widespread disruption in many polling units.

“In compliance with the Margin of Lead Principle derived from Sections 26 and 53 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and paragraph 41(e) and 43(b) of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections, the outcome of these elections could not be determined without conducting polls in the affected polling units. Hence the Commission’s decision to conduct supplementary elections in line with this principle.

“Furthermore, the Commission has considered a Report submitted by the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Bauchi State on the disruption of the collation at the Tafawa Balewa LGA collation centre, which led to the cancellation of results for the entire local government. The Commission found that there are issues that need further investigation and has set up a team led by a National Commissioner to resolve them”, he said.

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