Politics

Ebonyi shifts local government election again

· Poll now to take place on August 29

· ESIEC: We are obeying a court order

The Ebonyi State local government election will now take place on August 29 as against the earlier announced date of August 15, 2020, the State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) has announced.

Barr. Jossy Eze, Chairman of the Commission, made the announcement yesterday at a meeting with political parties and other relevant stakeholders at the Commission’s headquarters, Onwe road, Abakaliki.

Eze said the shift was necessitated by a court order restraining the Commission from going ahead with the election without issuing a revised time table that would give all interested political arties the opportunity to participate.

AbeyaNews recalls that the Commission had a week ago met with different political parties and stakeholders where it announced August 15 2020 as the new date for the elections, following the lifting of ban on political activities for the conduct of the LG elections by the State Governor, David Umahi.

The election was earlier scheduled for April 2020, but the Governor had suspended the exercise, citing outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and some other political parties had already concluded primary elections before the suspension of the exercise.

Following the indefinite postponement of the poll, Umahi had appointed and sworn in Caretaker Chairmen for the 13 councils in the State, following the expiration of the tenure of the elected Chairmen on May 29, 2020.

The Commission had announced that it would not start the process afresh as the exercise was merely suspended due to the Coronavirus outbreak, saying “we are taking off from where we stopped.”

But the decision did not go down well with some political parties, one of which went to the State High Court to restrain the Commission from going ahead with the exercise.

Eze said EBSIEC as a lawful organization decided to shift the election in line with the court order.

The ESIEC boss who unveiled the revised timetable at the meeting, said all political parties had on or before August 10 2020 to submit their nominated candidates or replacements, to the Commission.

He said: “The Commission has been served with order of the State High Court restraining it in the interim from going on to conduct the local government election without and until the Commission has issued a revised time table that will give a window of opportunity to the claimant in the suit and his party to partake and be opportune to have their party primaries conducted.

“You also recall that in the course of my speech last week, we did reiterate the fact that we are a lawful Commission and a Commission established by law, and we all took oaths to abide by the laws of the land in the exercise of our functions.

“Consequently, the Commission has met and in line with the order of the court to issue a revised timetable shifting the date of the elections to enable political parties conduct primaries as they desire, including the claimant in that suit.

“Therefore, by powers conferred on the Commission, I want to hereby announce that the new date for the 2020 Local Government elections in Ebonyi State will be Saturday, 29th August 2020. And the political parties have today, 22nd of July 2020 to Thursday 6th day of August 2020 to conduct their party primaries and ensure that the list of the nominated candidates or replacement as the case may be gets to the Commission on or before the 10th of August 2020.

From SAMSON AKPU, Abakaliki

 

 

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