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INEC: Political Parties to Bear Cost of Direct Primaries

National Chairman of The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, yesterday said the commission have a very small role to play in the conduct of direct primaries by political parties for selecting their candidates in an election.

He disclosed this while disclaiming speculations that the cost would be on the federal government, adding that the political parties would instead bear the cost of the direct primary elections to be conducted on all elections, he said since the political parties bore the cost of the indirect primaries, they would also bear the cost of direct primaries.

Prof. Mahmood, reportedly hinted at this while meeting with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation in Abuja.

Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Mukhtar Batera (APC-Borno), disclosed this when he addressed newsmen shortly after the closed door meeting.

The meeting followed a resolution of the House mandating the committee to interface with INEC on the cost implication of direct primaries by political parties as contained in the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Batera said Yakubu told the lawmakers that the conduct and funding of primaries were basically the function of the political parties and not the umpire.

“In our discussions with the INEC Chairman, we wanted to know the requirements for the 2023 elections as well as cost of direct or indirect party primaries.

“On the primaries, when we discussed with him, he specifically told us the role of INEC in direct or indirect primaries, which he said is just minimal.

“He said the responsibility lies with all the political parties. He said party primaries is the role of political parties and not INEC.

“For direct primaries, what the INEC Chairman told us is that only the political parties have the responsibility on primaries and the funding of the primaries,” he said.

Batera quoted Yakubu as saying INEC was not interested in evaluating the cost of primaries, because it was not part of its functions.


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