OrderPaperToday – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced plans to hold consultative meetings with critical stakeholders to decide dates for the conduct of legislative bye-elections

The stakeholders include political parties, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), media and Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) and Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), according to a statement by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.

INEC had on 22nd October 2020, postponed 15 outstanding legislative bye-elections in 11 States of the federation earlier scheduled for 31st October 2020, following the #EndSARS protests which led to crises in some parts of the country.

According to the statement, “the Commission at the end of its meeting on Thursday in Abuja decided that it will consult with political parties and civil society organisations on Tuesday 10th November 2020 and then with the media and Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) on Wednesday 11th November 2020.

“The Commission will thereafter meet again with the Resident Electoral Commissioners on Thursday, 12th November 2020 to decide on a date for the conduct of the bye-elections.

“The public will recall that the Commission met on 22nd October 2020 with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to deliberate on the 15 outstanding bye-elections in 11 States of the Federation earlier scheduled for 31st October 2020.

“Due to the security situation in the country at the time, the Commission decided to suspend the bye-elections and meet in two weeks to review its decision.

“The Commission met today, Thursday 5th November 2020 to further review the situation and decided that:

“The Commission suffered extensive damage to and vandalization of its local government offices and facilities, including the areas where the bye-elections are scheduled to hold.

“It is important to consult all the critical stakeholders in the electoral process before deciding on a definite date for the conduct of the bye-elections

“We appeal to all stakeholders to continue to cooperate with the Commission in its efforts to conduct credible elections under a safe and conducive environment.”

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