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Kaduna electoral commission suspends LG polls

…As CSOs seek withdrawal of election guidelines

From: Sola Ojo, Kaduna

The Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (Kad-SIECOM) has suspended the local government election it earlier scheduled to hold in December.

The suspension of the council election was made on Friday by Chairperson of the commission, Saratu Dikko, after an emergency meeting with the state House of Assembly Committee on Judiciary saying “the elections have been postponed indefinitely.”

The postponement, according to her, was necessary as the Assembly has not passed the new law to guide the election, “so when the law is passed and accented to by the governor we will make a new announcement on the election”.

Earlier in the day, before the suspension was announced, some Civil Society Organisations (CSOS), met in the state and demanded that the electoral body  to withdraw the guidelines issued on local government election scheduled for December 30.

Their argument was that local government council elections guidelines 2017 was inconsistent with the existing local government council election law 2012.

Addressing the press earlier, Emmanuel Bonet of Aid Foundation and Mallam Mustapha Jumare Kaduna of Monitoring and Accountability Mechanism (KADMAM), said concerned CSOs were in full support of the introduction of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and any technology that would improve the credibility of local government council election in the state.

Reading the press statement signed by the CSOs, Bonet said, “The local government council elections guidelines 2017 as issued by SIECOM is inconsistent with the  Local Government Council Election Law 2012 which is the law that is operational at the moment since it has not been repealed although a draft to replace it has been presented to the State Assembly but yet to be passed into law.

“The guideline 2017 speaks about EVM, which is alien to the Local Government Council Election Law 2012. In the 2012 law there is no provision for the use of EVM and smart card reader.

“The guideline does not provide for alternative voting procedure if the EVM fails as well as procedure for persons without a thump”.

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