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PDP Accuses INEC of Interference

After  due  consultation  with  major  stakeholders  over  its  rescheduled  primaries,  the  leadership  of  the  ruling  Peoples’  Democratic  Party  yesterday  accused  the  Independent  National  Electoral  Commission  of  interfering  in  its  intra- party  business.

The  party  said  that  it  would  still  go  ahead  with  its  rescheduled  primaries  in  some  states  of  the  federation,  insisting  that  it  is  acting  within  the  mandates  given  to  it  by  the  Electoral  Act  2010.

Speaking  yesterday,  the  national  legal  adviser  of  PDP,  Chief  Olusola  Oke  said  that  the  party  would  still  go  ahead  with  the  rescheduled  primaries,  despite  INEC  warning  that  the  party  would  be  acting  out  of  time.

Fielding  questions  yesterday  from  newsmen  on  the  development,  Chief  Oke  explained  thus:  “These are elections which were either not concluded or they were concluded on the field and we found that they were marred with gross irregularities and they had to be cancelled. They could not have produced candidates that will win election for us. So we are going ahead.

“My attention has been drawn to the INEC position on it and our position here is that we don’t want to join issues with INEC on the pages of newspapers or television. The Electoral Act is very very clear on the power of INEC and on the rights of political parties. We believe that until the time limited by law comes in that we are entitled to handle our primary as to how our candidates will emerge.

“The issue of INEC even preparing timetable in the first place to me is an unwarranted incursion into our internal activity. There are elections that are not concluded and the 60 days or 45 days prescribed by law after which we cannot submit names has not come in. I do not think that INEC can decree that we will not be able conclude our primary. We will do. I  trust that when we will have opportunity to meet with them, we will explain our position to them. They also  will explain their position and there will be understanding.

“INEC is a creation of law. It cannot appropriate to itself power that is not given by law. PDP is also a creation of the constitution. We know our rights and limitations under the constitution. I believe that this will not really generate controversy. We are still doing our internal process. By the time we conclude it, we will send our list to INEC and INEC is under obligation to accept it.

“INEC has drawn our attention to section 133 and 153 of the Electoral Act. I have read it clearly. It does not give INEC powers to reject any candidate. I have also read the position of section 31 of the Electoral Act, it imposes an obligation on INEC to accept any list that we are giving to them provided it is done before 45 days to the election and we are still more than two months to the day of election. So, I believe it is a misconception. We will sort it out at the appropriate time.

“INEC has no powers to reject list submitted to it by any political party. It has no such power. We will fix appropriate time to meet to resolve all logistics problems but we are going ahead with the re-run election.”


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Posted by on Jan 25 2011. Filed under Party Politics, Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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