Pre-Campaign Activities By Some Political Parties, Aspirants condemned
The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) has condemned pre-campaigning activities by political parties and aspirants ahead of the National Elections Commission’s (NEC) campaign period outlined in its revised electoral timeline. The ECC observes the silence of the NEC on these violations and calls on the NEC to enforce the rules and regulations related to pre-campaigning activities.
According to the NEC revised 2023 electoral calendar, the period stipulated for the presidential and legislative campaign is August 5 to October 8, 2023. ECC Long Term Observers (LTOs) across the country have reported pre-campaigning activities prior to the campaign period including the posting of materials designed and/or likely to influence voters. Pre-elections campaign is an offense against the election timeline adding that it disrupts the level playing field for other candidates and also brings about provocation because others who observe the rules of elections are not given the opportunity to reach out to their people like the violators.
The ECC notes that in 2017 the (NEC) gave politicians and political parties one week ultimatum to remove their banners, bill boards and stickers or face the punishment of being disqualified by the commission from contesting the elections in October 2017.
The ECC further states that political rallies are allowed under the laws but doesn’t require the wearing of political parties T-Shirts, emblems, erection of billboards and distribution of stickers with photos.
The ECC calls on the NEC to publish the regulation with respect to pre-campaigning that will outline specific sanction and penalty for political parties and aspirants who are involved with pre-campaigning activities. In the meantime, the ECC also calls on all political parties, their leaders, aspirants, and supporters to respect the rule of law and desist from engaging in pre-campaigning activities.
At the same time, the ECC calls on the government to give priority to the disbursement of needed financial resources to the NEC for the timely implementation of electoral activities.