Following the implementation of the new Electoral Law 2022, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has revised the timetable for the 2023 general election, which was first issued in 2021.
The Presidential and National Assembly elections will now take place on February 25, 2023, according to the new schedule.
Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of INEC, made the announcement at a news conference in Abuja on Saturday.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Electoral Bill 2022 into law on Friday.
“Therefore, the Electoral Act 2022, together with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), form the legal basis for conducting all elections in Nigeria. In particular, the Electoral Act provides strict timelines for the implementation of electoral activities based on the date of the General Election.
“One of the important timeframes is the publication of the Notice of Election not later than 360 days before the day set for holding an election, which has now lapsed for the 2023 General Election”, he said.
The Chairman said as result, the Commission has decided to change the dates of the 2023 General Election to ensure conformity with the new law.
“With this change, the General Election in 2023 is now 363 days away.”
“Under the law, there are critical timebound activities from the publication of Notice of Election to the Conduct of Polls which form the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for elections.
Yakubu stated that with the implementation of the Electoral Act 2022, the Commission will work tirelessly to finalize and publish new Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections that are in accordance with the Act.
Their timely publishing will allow all electoral stakeholders to become acquainted with their provisions as they prepare for the 2023 General Election, he added.
Some of the critical activities and their dates of implementation are as follows:
- Publication of Notice of Election – Monday 28th February 2022.
- Conduct of party primaries, including the resolution of disputes arising from them – Monday 4th April 2022 to Friday 3rd June 2022.
- Submission of nomination forms to INEC via the online portal for Presidential and National Assembly election – 9.00am on Friday 10th June 2022 to 6.00pm on Friday 17th June 2022.
- Submission of nomination forms to INEC via the online nomination portal for Governorship and State Assembly elections – 9.00am on Friday 1st July 2022 to 6.00pm on Friday 15th July 2022.
- Commencement of Campaigns by political parties for Presidential and National Assembly election – Wednesday 28th September 2022.
- Commencement of Campaigns by political parties for Governorship and State Assembly elections – Wednesday 12th October 2022.
- Last day of campaign by political parties for Presidential and National Assembly elections — midnight on Thursday 23rd February 2023.
- Last day of campaign by political parties for Governorship and State Assembly elections — midnight on Thursday 9th March 2023.