The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to conduct the Anambra governorship election on 16th November 2013. It is also to flag off the Continous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise latest by September this year.
Professor Attahiru Jega, INEC Chairman disclosed this when the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Donald Yamamoto, visited the Commission on Wednesday.
The INEC boss expressed optimism that in spite of the security challenges in some parts of the country, the Commission would conduct elections in 2015 that were remarkably better. Said he: “We are prepared for 2015 (General Elections) and feel quite optimistic that it will be better than 2011”.
Jega hinged his optimism on a number of activities which the Com-mission had put in place immediately in the after-math of the 2011 General Elections. They include:
A series of assessments of the 2011 General Elections; Articulation and presentation of a Strategic Plan and Action Plan between 2012-2016 which would provide a road map for the 2015 General Elections;
Carry out a delimitation of constituencies before the 2015 General Elections;
Re-organisation and restructuring of the Commission with a view to making it a lean, more efficient and effective Election Management Body (EMB);
Increased engagement with stakeholders, especially political parties;
Improved relationship with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs);
Continued engagement with the National Assembly and the Executive; and
Engagement with Security Agencies.
Prof Jega observed that the success of elections was a product of partnerships with other stakeholders. He canvassed for support from development partners in the area of training and capacity building, explaining that the Commission’s Electoral Institute was being re-positioned to address the training needs of INEC, State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) and EMBs in the West African Sub-region.
On the merger application by some political parties, Professor Jega explained that it was being treated as a routine matter and that the relevant department was verifying information supplied to it by parties intending to merge.
He further explained: “The department is doing its job. It has not yet reached the Committee not to talk of the Commission.” He assured however that: “For us it is not a challenge. If you follow the procedure (in the Electoral Act) you get registered.”
Ambassador Yamamoto had earlier commended the Commission for doing “a great work”, adding that “your success is a success for Africa.”