Kogi/Bayelsa Elections: INEC Disqualifies 14 Political Parties
INEC National Commissioner Festus Okoye/file

No fewer than 14 political parties have been disqualified by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from participating in the upcoming elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states for fielding invalid candidates.

INEC National Commissioner and the Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said the commission disqualified eight parties in Kogi state and six in Bayelsa state.

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According to the commission, 49 of the political parties in Kogi state had submitted names and personal particulars of their nominated governorship and deputy governorship candidates for the November 16 governorship election.

The electoral umpire further explained that only 23 political parties will be allowed to participate in the election due to the fact that eight of the parties violated the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) by nominating under-aged candidates. He also said that 18 other political parties voluntarily withdrew from participating in the election.

However, 46 out of the 52 political parties that submitted names and credentials of their candidates for the election in Bayelsa state will be participating in the election.

According to the commission, six of the parties were also disqualified for also violating the rules of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) by nominating under-aged candidates.

“At the close of the time stipulated by sections 31, 33 and 35 of Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) for the submission of the names of nominated candidates, 49 nominations were received for Kogi State,” the statement read.

“Out of these, 41 nominations were valid while 8 were invalid. Subsequently, 18 political parties withdrew from contesting the elections. Therefore, 23 political parties will contest the Governorship election in Kogi State.

“For Bayelsa State, a total of 52 nominations were received. Out of these, 46 were valid, while 6 were invalid. One political party has since withdrawn from the contest, leaving a total of 45 political parties to contest the Governorship election in Bayelsa State.

“In compliance with section 34 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the full names and addresses of all candidates standing nominated will be published in the relevant offices and on the website of the Commission on Monday, September 30, 2019.”