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High stakes as APC sets date for Edo and Ondo guber primaries

Politics

High stakes as APC sets date for Edo and Ondo guber primaries

The All Progressives Congress has set Monday, June 22, and Monday, July 20 as dates for its primary election to choose a candidate for the governorship election in Edo and Ondo states respectively.

What they are saying: INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Public Information, Festus Okoye, has announced that the electoral body will, tomorrow, 21st of May, release a ‘policy framework’ to guide the conduct of the elections, engagement with stakeholders, and future electoral activities.

What is at stake: Edo and Ondo states have a total number of 139 confirmed COVID-19 cases, per the latest figures from the NCDC. Going by Nigeria’s historical problem with organizing rancor-free elections, and the stakes involved in both elections, it is easy to see how things could potentially go south.

  • Ideally, INEC could learn from the successful example of South Korea that recently conducted parliamentary elections under strict hygiene and social distancing measures that helped prevent the spread of COVID-19. But some would argue that Nigeria is not South Korea.
  • Electronic voting is another idea some states have explored but a raft of problems including poor infrastructure, limited budget, and legality represent major barriers.
  • By law, new elections must be held not earlier than 150 days or later than 30 days to the expiration of the tenure of the last holder of the office.

What to watch: The promised policy framework of INEC and whether or not it would be accepted by all parties involved, including medical authorities who ought to have an input.

Also, if the APC would be able to satisfy its members in both states with adopted mode of the primary election.

Peter Adeshina is a journalist who reports politics, policy and governance.

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