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INEC Postpones Bye-Elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has postponed 15 bye-elections initially slated for October 31, for 6 Senatorial positions and 9 State Constituency positions in  11 States across the Federation. INEC disclosed this decision after the leadership of the Commission met with all Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs). The Commission’s decision to postpone the elections was informed by the disruptions in the country occasioned by vandalism, looting of properties and the general unrest in several States. In a statement signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, INEC stated that it was acting in compliance with section 26(2) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), which empowers the Commission to postpone an election if it reasonably believes that a breach of peace is likely to occur in the event that it proceeds with the election, or where certain exigent situations make it impossible to conduct an election. According to the statement, INEC will continue to monitor the situation in the affected States and Constituencies, consult with relevant stakeholders and meet again to assess the situation, with a view to setting a new date for the elections.