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INEC Raises Concerns On 2011 Election

Source: EBUBECHI EMMANUEL - thewillnigeria.com
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ABUJA, June 01, (THEWILL) - The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised concerns over the successful conduct of the 2011 elections saying it might not have enough time to adequately prepare for the polls as the laws to guide the exercise are yet to be passed.

INEC Acting Chairman, Solomon Soyebi who stated this on Tuesday at a public hearing on the review o f the 2006 Electoral Act organized by the Senate said the commission might not have enough time to meet logistics demands for the election given proposed amendments on election clauses in the Electoral law and the 1999 Constitution.

Soyebi who said the commission is set to register three more political parties to bring the total number of parties to 60 stressed that it might not have enough time to make provisions for the parties and independent candidates proposed in the electoral bill under consideration.

This is especially on the backdrop of the fact that the bill seeks to change the time of election from the existing 30 days before the inauguration of elected officers to 90 days which will make it mandatory for the 2011 election to be held on or before February 29 2011 to pave way for the swearing-in of new elected officials on May 29, 2011.

Arguing that INEC may have very little time between the time the law would be passed and the election, Soyebi said the commission would have serious constrain as it is expected to make provisions for independent candidates for the elections.

He therefore urged the National Assembly to fast track the passage of both body of laws to enable the electoral body commence preparations on time.

Speaking at the opening of the hearing, Senate President David Mark said the National Assembly will accelerate passage of harmonized version of the reviewed Constitution and the new Electoral Act to ensure a credible election in 2011.

He said the Senate will Wednesday pass the synchronized version presented by the Joint Committee which harmonized the differences in the versions passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives respectively after which it will be sent to the State House of Assembly for endorsement next week.