2019: INEC’s release of timetable will ensure early preparation– IPAC

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The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) said early release of timetable for 2019 General Elections would allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and political parties to prepare adequately for the elections.

The National Chairman of IPAC, Mallam Lawal Nalado, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, said that the early release of the timetable was commendable.

“We welcome the idea. It is better to start early and do things at the niche of time than when we will be forced to be rushing on issues.

“Now that we are having more parties to be participating in elections, INEC needs more time to plan to avoid having problem with sensitive materials, especially ballot papers, considering the number of parties to be on the ballot papers.

“Omission of any party on ballot papers can cause damage to the electoral process. If a party is omitted, the election must be re-conducted and that means additional cost of conducting elections to the country.

“It is better to have more time to plan than to rush and do things that will cause us much money and waste of time,’’ he said.

Nalado, who is also the National Chairman of Accord Party (AP), urged political parties to keep to the timetable and play by the rule of the game as specified in the Electoral Act and the Constitution.

“Political parties have to ensure that internal democracy is maintained because most of the litigations we get after elections are due to some problems arising from pre-election matters, such as change of primaries results.

“If political parties keep to the rule, we will have minimum crisis and INEC will not have to spend additional money to re-conduct elections.

“Such money would be spent on something else to deepen our democracy and boost our electoral system.’’ (NAN)

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