INEC to propose constitutional amendment to overhaul electoral process

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will embark on aggressive constitutional and electoral reforms to enhance the integrity of the electoral process.

The commission also promised to consider the duality of electronic and manual collation and transmission of results to prevent noticeable lapses.

A National Commissioner of INEC, Mr Festus Okoye disclosed this on Wednesday in Enugu during the presentation of Certificates of Return to elected members of the state assembly, governor and deputy governor-elect in the March 9 elections.

Okoye, who is the commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, said that the commission could no longer afford to plan in an uncertain environment.

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He said that a section of the political class had refused to imbibe the democratic spirit that puts obedience and respect to constitutional dictates at the centre.

“While the commission acknowledges the need for constitutional and electoral renewal, the greater challenge lies in the bad behaviour of a section of the political class.

“It is very clear that some of the provisions in the Constitution and Electoral Act must be realigned to meet the expectations of our people.

“The commission will take a second look at the timeline for the disposal of pre-election matters and propose an amendment to the National Assembly,” he said.

Okoye said that the commission would favour an amendment that would lead to the disposal of all pre-election matters at least 45 days to holding of elections.

He said that INEC would take steps that would prevent political thugs from storming collation centres in search of results.
The commissioner charged the beneficiaries of the certificates to live up to the expectations of their people.

“The validity of the certificates rests with the people of the state. It is within their constitutional mandate to renew, withdraw and or elevate it,” Okoye said.

Earlier, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Mr Emeka Ononammadu, said that the state office of the commission would be fair to all part during post-election activities.

Ononammadu said such activities include reverse logistics and tribunal matters.

He said that it was gratifying that the electoral process ended in peace with all promises of fairness, openness and neutrality kept.

“It was a tortuous journey that did not come at zero cost but it is also a journey that the entire nation is poised to learn from Enugu,” Ononammadu said.

In a remark after collecting his certificate of return, the governor-elect, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi said they had prayed for a peaceful and transparent election.

Ugwuanyi commended efforts of security agencies during the process.

He said his administration would continue to serve with the fear of God.

 

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