- The PDP risks being disqualified from the Edo governorship election
- The party's decision to postpone its primary election contravenes INEC's election guidelines
- The new date for the PDP primary is two days short of the seven days’ notice as stipulated by INEC in its guidelines
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A report by Vanguard indicates that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) might be disqualified from the Edo governorship race.
According to the report, the PDP's decision to reschedule its primary election without recourse to the guidelines released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) might backfire.
The party had earlier slated its primary election for Saturday, June 20, but on Thursday, June 18, decided to shift it to Tuesday, June 23.
While the Electoral Act requires political parties to give a 21-day notice to INEC for the conduct of their primaries, the election guidelines and regulations released by the electoral umpire requires political parties to give the commission a seven-day notice of their decision to reschedule their primary elections.
They are required to notify INEC stating clearly the reason(s) for the rescheduling as well as the date, venue, and mode of the primary election, at least seven days before the new date.
The new date by the PDP is two days short of the seven days’ notice as stipulated by INEC in its guidelines.
The PDP's move has been interpreted to mean the opposition party is paving the way for Governor Godwin Obaseki to participate in the primary election.
Obaseki had earlier this week announced his resignation from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) after he was disqualified from the party's primary election.
With the debacle faced by the PDP, experts say it is now left for INEC to interpret its own laws.
Some political watchers say if PDP goes ahead to use the new date, INEC will declare the primary null and void and PDP won't have a governorship candidate.
Supporters of the APC are already calling on the INEC to enforce the election guidelines as they did in the case of Zamfara.
Already, a recent Supreme Court's verdict clearly states that INEC's guidelines are superior to the constitution when it comes to election.
But, some political watchers say PDP couldn't have taken the decision without consulting its lawyers.
Recent media reports had suggested that Obaseki is now favourite to clinch PDP ticket ahead of the election.
Last weekend, the Edo state governor met with his Rivers (Nyesom Wike) and Akwa Ibom (Udom Emmanuel) counterparts to perfect his defection.
He reportedly met with the PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus in Abuja recently too.
APC disqualifies Obaseki from Edo guber primaries | Legit TV