The Electoral Bill by the National Assembly has been passed to President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, November 19, 2021, for assent.
If the President assents to the bill, it becomes a law and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would expect political parties to submit the list of their candidates for the 2023 elections latest by August 18, 2022.
This extends the dates for political parties to submit the names of their candidates to INEC from 60 to 120 days before the elections.
In the old Act, it is stated in its Section 31 that, “Every political party shall not later than 60 days before the date appointed for a general election under the provisions of this Act, submit to the commission, in the prescribed forms, the list of candidates the party proposes to sponsor at the elections, provided that the commission shall not reject or disqualify the candidate (s) for any reason whatsoever.”
This section has now been amended by amending subsections 1, 6 and 8.
The amended Section 31 (1) now stipulates that “submission of lists of candidates by political parties shall be done not later than 120 days before the date appointed for a general election and candidates must have emerged from validly conducted primaries”.
Meanwhile, INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, had in April announced that the 2023 presidential elections would be held on February 18.