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According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, in order to fill the current vacancies in the state and federal legislatures, repeats and bye-elections will be held nationwide in February 2024.

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This was said by INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Monday before the elections in an Abuja meeting with political party leaders.

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Unless a party wants to replace a deceased candidate, only the parties and candidates that ran in the general election are involved in rerun elections. Bye-elections, however, are new elections.

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Yakubu pointed out that the courts had mandated, at the conclusion of the dispute, that the commission hold new elections in 34 federal and state constituencies—11 federal, 22 state, and one for the Senate.

He said that the two elections will take place on the same day and that political parties had to have new primaries within the legally permitted time frame.

“This meeting is to brief party leaders on the Commission’s preparations for the upcoming elections, which will take place early in the new year,” he stated. There are two categories for the elections.

First, the Commission is mandated by court order to hold new elections in certain constituencies when the Election Petition Appeal Tribunals established following the 2023 General Election progressively wrap up their work.

Second, in order to cover vacancies left by resignations or deaths of members of the National and State Houses of Assembly, the Commission must also hold bye-elections. The specifics of the proposed combination and simultaneous holding of the two types of elections will be covered by the Commission during this meeting.

As a result, political parties are required by law to hold new primaries within the stipulated time frame.

According to the INEC Chairman, “the Commission has been directed by the Election Petition Appeal Tribunals to hold new elections in 34 seats, comprising one Senatorial District, eleven Federal seats, and twenty-two State Assembly districts, thus far.

“As part of the lessons learned from the 2023 General Election for the consequential reforms to improve the conduct of future elections, I want to assure you that the Commission will present a thorough analysis of the petitions at the conclusion of all litigations, including the Governorship elections that are currently pending on appeal at the Supreme Court. This analysis will include cases where the Commission was ordered to issue Certificates of Return to other candidates and the reasons for the decisions made by the Courts.

“The Commission plans to hold the byelection and rerun in the first week of February 2024, which is just over one month away.”

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