The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised to monitor political parties’ campaigns and expenses for the 2023 general elections to ensure compliance with the laws.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this at the signing of the peace accord for the peaceful campaign organised by the National Peace Committee (NPC) on Thursday in Abuja.
Yakubu said that would be done to ensure that parties shun abusive language and comply with spending limits for elections.
He said the Electoral Act 2022 provided for campaigns in public by political parties to commence not earlier than 150 days before polling day of which the national elections had officially commenced on Sept. 28.
He added that the campaign would continue until 24 hours before polling day (Feb 23, 2023) for national elections (Presidential and National Assembly), and March 9, 2023, for state elections (Governorship and Houses of Assembly).
“The implication is that for the next 148 days, political parties, candidates and their supporters are free to traverse the country holding meetings, rallies, processions and door-to-door campaigns.
“They will grant interviews, sponsor indoor and outdoor advertisements and publish other campaign materials. This is often a delicate period characterised by excitement and anxiety.
“In line with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and in our determination to play our role as a regulator, the Commission will vigorously monitor compliance.
“To ensure that parties shun abusive, intemperate or slanderous language as well as insinuations or innuendoes likely to provoke a breach of the peace during the electioneering campaigns.
“Similarly, the Commission will also closely monitor compliance with the limits on campaign spending under the Electoral Act. There are sanctions provided by law.
“Political parties and candidates should study and familiarise themselves with the electoral legal framework to avoid any infraction of the law and the unhappy consequences that will follow any act of misdemeanour.’’
Yakubu, therefore, urged all political party candidates to show appreciation to the work of the NPC by abiding and showing commitment to the peace accord that they signed.