The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) on Thursday postponed bye-elections in six senatorial districts, and nine state constituencies across 11 states of the Federation.
The postponement is not unconnected with protests across the country. INEC commissioners across the 36 states of the Federation met on Thursday to take the decision.
Below is the press release issued after their meeting:
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION
ON THE BYE-ELECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR 31st OCTOBER 2020
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met today, 22nd October 2020 with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to review preparations for the 15 bye-elections in 11 States of the Federation scheduled to hold on 31st October 2020.
On Wednesday 21st October 2020, the Commission notified the nation that having taken cognizance of the current security situation in parts of the country, a meeting with the 37 RECs will be held to evaluate the situation in the States and Constituencies where bye-elections have been scheduled.
Accordingly, the Commission has decided to postpone the bye-elections in the 6 Senatorial Districts and 9 State Constituencies. This decision is in compliance with Section 26 (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), which gives the Commission the power to postpone an election if there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date, or that it is impossible to conduct the elections as a result of natural disasters or other emergencies.
The Commission will continue to monitor the situation in all the States and Constituencies, consult with relevant Stakeholders and meet again in two weeks to review the situation and decide on a feasible date for the elections.
The Commission appeals for calm and understanding of the stakeholders and voters in the States where elections were scheduled. The safety of the voters, election officials and other stakeholders is paramount to the Commission in conducting elections.
We are convinced that the country will emerge from the current challenges stronger while our electoral process will continue to improve.
Festus Okoye Esq.
National Commissioner and Chairman,
Information and Voter Education Committee
22nd October 2020.