The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says all disputes arising from political party primaries must be resolved by June 3, 2022.
This was disclosed in the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election released by the commission on Saturday during a media briefing in Abuja.
“Conduct of party primaries, including the resolution of disputes arising from them – Monday, April 4, 2022 to Friday, June 3, 2022,” the schedule reads.
When asked during the briefing if parties who fail to resolve disputes by the said date will not participate in the election, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said parties that fail to comply with the guideline will not be expected to submit the names of their candidates.
“All political parties are supposed to comply with the timetable and schedule of activities released by the commission. Any political party that operates outside the timelines provided by the commission with respect to party primaries, will not be expected to submit the name of their candidate(s) to the commission,” he said.
The INEC chairman also announced that the presidential and national assembly elections will hold on February 25, 2023, while governorship and state house of assembly polls will take place on March 11, 2023.
The announcement comes hours after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the electoral act amendment bill into law.
The bill was transmitted to the president on January 31 after both chambers of the national assembly reworked it.
The president had initially rejected the bill after the national assembly made direct primary compulsory for political parties in the country.
But Buhari had said the provision “violates the spirit of democracy”.
It was on that basis the senate and house of representatives reworked the bill to provide for indirect, direct and consensus methods for selecting candidates.
Electronic transmission of election results is also part of the new provisions in the electoral act.