Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released guidelines and schedule of activities for the election.
This is just as the commission stated that it would make public its budget for the 2019 election on Thursday.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, announced the guidelines during a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
Yakubu said the notice of election would be communicated on August 17, 2018 in line with Section 30(1) of the Electoral 2010 which provides that the notice of election be made not later than 90 days before the election.
He said the conduct of party primaries including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries would take place between August 18 and October 7, 2018
The INEC chairman said all political parties should collect forms for all elections latest by August 24, 2018.
Yakubu added, “The campaigns of political parties for Presidential and National Assembly elections should begin by November 18, 2018 while that of governorship and House of Assembly is December 1, 2018.”
The INEC boss said the last day for the submission of nomination forms by political parties for the presidential and National Assembly is December 3, 2018 while for governorship and House of Assembly is December 17.
The Presidential and National Assembly elections are expected to hold on February 16, 2019 while the governorship and state legislative elections will hold on March 2, 2019.
The INEC chairman said efforts were being made to increase the collection of Permanent Voter Cards, adding that a portal had been created to notify registered voters when their PVCs were ready.
When asked how much the election would cost, he said, “This is being finalised and we will conclude when we meet on Thursday and thereafter, we can say how much the election will cost and we will finalise on the election budget and this will be known (to the public).”
Regarding the spending limit for presidential candidates, Yakubu said the Electoral Act was clear on the matter which “states that no presidential candidate can spend over N1bn, no governorship candidate can spend over N200m and no senatorial candidate can spend over N40m.”
The same Act further states that corporate bodies cannot donate money to political parties and no private individual can donate more than N1m to any aspirant or candidate.
“The benchmark for financing campaigns is a matter of the Electoral Act. The provisions in the Act have no changed for all categories of candidates contesting election and we will stick to it,” he said.