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2023: INEC to monitor parties’ campaign spending

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The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, said on Thursday the commission would monitor the parties’ compliance with the Electoral Act’s provision on campaign spending.

Yakubu, who stated this in his goodwill message at the signing of the Peace Accord initiated by the National Peace Committee in Abuja, added that INEC would ensure the parties and their candidates guard against the use of vulgar language and other unacceptable conduct during the campaign activities.

He urged politicians to abide by the letter and spirit of the Peace Accord.

The INEC chief said: “Today, the NPC is taking another giant step by inviting parties and candidates to commit to peaceful electioneering campaigns. This is important considering the connection between peaceful campaigns on the one hand and peaceful elections on the other.

“The Electoral Act 2022 provides for campaigns in public by political parties to commence not earlier than 150 days before polling day. Accordingly, a campaign by political parties for the 2023 General Election officially commenced on Wednesday, September 28. This will continue until 24 hours before polling day i.e. February 23, 2023 for national elections (Presidential and National Assembly) and March 9, 2023 for State elections (Governorship and Houses of Assembly).

READ ALSO: 2023: INEC cautions parties on use of abusive language during campaigns

“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 characterized 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 misdemeanor.”

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