We won’t recognize parallel primaries – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said that it will not recognise parallel primaries being conducted by political parties ahead of the 2015 general elections.

The commission also said it had put in place mechanisms to monitor funds being used by political parties for electioneering.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, said in Abuja on Sunday, that the electoral law clarifies the commission’s mandate as regards monitoring party primaries .

“The law provides that INEC observes the primaries of political parties but does not observe parallel primaries. It is unknown to INEC, the party has a leadership that is registered with INEC. And as required by law, they have to extend invitation to INEC to observe their primaries.

“So parallel primaries is unknown to INEC and has no legal status. The commission does not observe parallel primaries and cannot deal with something it has no knowledge about. INEC cannot begin to act on something it has no knowledge about.

“I don’t know of particular cases but the provision of the law is that every party has a record of their leadership with INEC. When that leadership changes, they are also required by law through a legal procedure for any change in party leadership.”

On efforts to track expenditure of political parties, Idowu said there is a department in INEC charged with that responsibility of tracking party finances and recommending appropriate actions.

“INEC has mechanisms in place to track campaign finance and will do so for the 2015 elections,” he stressed.

Idowu also disclosed that the commission was working with security agencies to determine how elections would be conducted in the troubled Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

He said, “INEC is preparing to conduct elections in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, but it is also in close consultation with security services who have the constitutional mandate for security provisioning for elections.”

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