The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released guidelines and schedule of activities in preparation for the 2019 general elections.
While stating that it would make public its budget for the 2019 election on Thursday, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who announced the guidelines during a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, also directed political parties to conclude all primary elections by October.
It is understood that the presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on February 16 while governorship and State Assembly elections will be conducted on Saturday, March 2, 2019.
Yakubu said the notice of election would be communicated on August 17, 2018 in line with Section 30(1) of the Electoral 2010 which provides that the notice of election be made not later than 90 days before the election.
He said the conduct of party primaries including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries would take place between August 18 and October 7, 2018
The INEC chairman said all political parties should collect forms for all elections latest by August 24, 2018. Yakubu added, “The campaigns of political parties for Presidential and National Assembly elections should begin by November 18, 2018 while that of governorship and House of Assembly is December 1, 2018.”
The INEC boss said the last day for the submission of nomination forms to INEC is December 3 for presidential and National Assembly elections; December 17 for governorship and State Assembly and December 14 for the FCT Area Council Elections. “The last day for campaigns is February 14, 2019 for presidential and National Assembly Elections as well as February 28, 2018 for governorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council Elections,” he said.
“Today (Yesterday), it is exactly 402 days to the opening of polling units nationwide at 8am on Saturday 16th February 2019.
“As political parties and candidates canvass the support of the electorate, the Commission wishes to appeal to all and sundry to eschew bitterness and conduct their activities with decorum. The 2015 General Election was a watershed in the history of our democracy. The Commission is determined to build on this legacy by ensuring that our elections keep getting better,” he said