- A group has declared that substitution of candidates ahead of the 2023 general elections is no longer possible
- According to the group, the current and subsisting electoral law does not envisage a situation that makes substitution possible
- The group stated that any substitution of running mates nominated by presidential and gubernatorial candidates falls flat in the face of the law
FCT, Abuja - A group, Center for Reforms and Public Advocacy has declared that running mates nominated by presidential and governorship candidates are not subject to withdrawal.
The group made this known in a statement sent to Legit.ng on Saturday, June 25 by its convener, Ifeanyi Okechukwu.
The advocacy group also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its activities so far in the count down to the 2023 general election.
The group noted:
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“As concerned stakeholders in the election, however, we wish to express our concern about the likelihood of infractions that are already being cooked by some political parties as it relates to the issue of replacement of their associate candidates or running mates in the presidential election.
“Many lawyers, legislative experts, and even INEC have made it clear that what we are having are presidential running mates, which the Constitution and Electoral Act refer to as "associate candidate" and "running mate" and not placeholders.
“The Constitution and the Electoral Act 2022 make clear provisions on the yardstick for withdrawal and substitution of candidates.
“That provision, as contained in Sections 28 and 84 of the amended Electoral Act 2022, relate to only the candidate – presidential and gubernatorial – and not their running mates.
“Substitution of candidates by political parties becomes possible in cases of withdrawal or death of candidates and these are president, gubernatorial, Senate, House of Representatives and State Assemblies who were nominated by political parties through valid primaries in accordance with Section 29 and 84.
“So, it is no more business as usual, the current electoral law is very stringent in many areas especially methods of political parties' primaries, who are delegates, how withdrawal is done, how substitution is done, and transmission of results, among others.”
The group reminded INEC that the catch-word of placeholders as being bandied by some political parties is not known to the law and that the law does not give room for substitution of running mates in the 2023 election guidelines.
According to the group, political parties ought to have familiarized themselves with the relevant aspects of the new electoral law and avoid actions that are capable of causing infractions.
2023: GUTS unveils plan, takes sensitization to youths, others
Meanwhile, as Nigerians prepare for the 2023 polls, the Gina Unimke and Trisha Shine foundation, GUTS, has launched a massive plan ahead of the exercise.
In its unveiling statement issued on Thursday, May 5 in Abuja, the foundation stressed the importance of participatory democracy and a credible poll come 2023.
The statement signed by its media coordinator, Mr. Akuma Ukpo, said 2023 was critical for the future of the country and all stakeholders must be committed to ensuring that the future of the country is guaranteed.
2023: FCI to partner with other agencies to combat fake news
On its part, FactCheck Initiative (FCI) has created a team for a cause that will involve partnering with the government and other agencies in other to have free, fair, and peaceful elections in Nigeria void of any form of violence in 2023.
The main aim of this cause will be to spot, examine and respond to the impact caused by any misleading information ahead of the upcoming 2023 general elections in Nigeria.
Adeoye Temitope, country director, FactCheck Initiative says stopping fake news and misinformation is the inspiration behind the project.