INEC Gives Guidelines Ahead of 2023 Polls

Guidelines for the Conduct of Political Rallies, Processions, and Campaigns, as well as those for the Finances and Election Expenses of Political Parties, Candidates, and Aspirants, have been accepted for publishing and released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

As a result, it has established a cap of N50 million as the maximum sum of money or other assets that a person, a group of people, or a company may donate to a political party or candidate for office.

INEC also prohibits political rallies from taking place in places of worship and government buildings.

“The maximum amount of money or other assets that an individual, a group of individuals, or an entity can donate to a political party or aspirant for an election shall be N50,000,000 (fifty million Naira only)

“A Political Party shall not accept any monetary or other contribution which is more than N50,000,000 except it identifies and discloses the source of the contribution to the Commission”, the document stated.

According to INEC, contributions to candidates may be made by either an individual or an organisation within the 150 days allotted for campaigns and election day and may be made to aspirants between the date the election notice is released and the end of the Party Primaries.

The Electoral Act of 2022 (as amended) limits on election expenses have to be followed, according to INEC’s addition.

According to the commission, “the election expenses of a Political Party shall be in three parts; for the management of Aspirants and Party Primaries; for management of Candidates and conduct of elections; and, for miscellaneous election expenses.

The Electoral Act of 2022 stipulates that a Political Party’s election expenses for managing Party Primaries may not be more than two-thirds of the maximum allowed for candidate expenses.

A Political Party’s election expenses for conducting elections are also limited to two-thirds of the maximum election expenses allowed for each Candidate times the number of Candidates the Political Party will support in a specific election for elected seats.

“The miscellaneous election expenses of a Political Party shall include but not limited to: Pre-election cases against the party; Post-election or election petitions; Re-mobilization of Party members after elections”, the commission stated.

Additionally, it stated that each political party must provide a hard copy and an electronic copy of a detailed annual statement of their assets, liabilities, and analysis of their funding sources and other assets, as well as a breakdown of their spending from January 1 through March 30 of the following year, to the Commission.

On political rallies, INEC said, “no political rally or procession shall hold in places designated as religious centres, police stations and public institutions”.

“Political rallies or processions shall not involve abusive language or any form of hate speech.

“Political rallies or processions shall not involve the use of physical force or coercion by organised groups or individuals”, the electoral umpire added.

Regarding contributions from the diaspora, INEC mandated that each political party notify it and deposit to the Commission any money or other assets remitted or transferred to it from outside of Nigeria within 21 days of receipt.

“Where needed, the Political Party shall provide such information as may be required by the Commission”, it added.

The commission has also established a portal via which each political party that is sponsoring a candidate’s election must submit to the commission a report of the donations made to it by people and organisations within three months of the declaration of election results.

According to INEC, the report must include information on the donors’ names, residences, occupations, and financial contributions.

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