Reps panel reveals why INEC did not provide cost implication of direct primart
The house of representatives committee on appropriations has stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has identified political parties as responsible for determining the cost implication of organising direct primary.
This was stated on Thursday by the chairman of the committee, Muktar Betara after a closed-door meeting with Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman at the national assembly in Abuja.
In November, the national assembly approved the conference committee report on the electoral bill and approved the electronic transmission of election results and direct primaries for all political parties.
The decision to adopt direct primary for political parties has elicited strong opposition from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The lower legislative chamber last week passed a resolution and invited Yakubu to brief the lawmakers on the cost implication of the electoral body supervising direct primaries of political parties.
Speaking after the meeting on Thursday, Betara said Yakubu explained that political parties have the responsibility of funding their primary election.
“In our discussions with the INEC chairman, we wanted to know his requirements for the 2023 elections as well as the cost of direct or indirect primaries,” Betara said.
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 primary 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.”
Speaking earlier, Yakubu said “INEC did not come up with any cost for the conduct of primaries for political parties by the direct method”.
“We have had very good discussions with the committee on appropriations of the national assembly pursuant to the resolution of the house and what we discussed you will not hear from me,” he added.
On if President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to assent to the electoral bill, Mahmood said he wasn’t aware of any development of the sort.
The INEC chairman also said the cost of the 2023 general election will be made public after the 2022 budget is approved.
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