29 November 2012

Nigeria: INEC Unveils Strategies for 2015 Polls

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INEC is Nigeria's election commission.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday in Abuja outlined strategies aimed at enhancing the successful conduct of the 2015 general elections.

At a dialogue with civil society organizations on plans and progress towards the 2015 general elections held At Bolingo Hotel and Towers Abuja, INEC Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega disclosed that the commission would commence delimitation of the 109 senatorial and 360 federal constituencies before 2014.

"The last completed delimitation of federal constituencies was done in 1996; the previous election management board tried to conduct one but it was not successful. We are planning to conduct one between 2013 and 2014", Jega said.

Jega said apart from delimitation of constituencies, INEC would also embark on decentralized registration of eligible voters, adding that a total of 40 million permanent voters' cards with biometrics would be released in 2013.

He explained that the registration of eligible voters would be decentralized so that it would commence at the ward level for all those that have turns 18 years of age, saying, "it would no longer take place at the LGAs as was the case in the past.

On suggestions for staggered elections, the INEC boss said it was against international best practices, pointing out that it would be difficult to conduct it in Nigeria because it would amount to holding elections all year round.

He also called for the establishment of an independent electoral offences tribunal to be given the powers to prosecute electoral offenders, saying "prosecution of electoral offenders should be taken away from INEC because we are challenged by lack of capacity.

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