An official of Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed confidence that the country’s legislative body will Wednesday approve the commission’s proposed new date of April for the general elections.
Nick Dazan, INEC’s assistant director of public affairs said if approved the new date will allow the electoral body to be adequately prepared to organize a credible election next year.
“We expect the House of Assembly to have a third and final reading of the bill extending time for the (electoral) commission to hold elections in April next year as it requested a few weeks ago.”
Last month, the joint National Assembly Committee on Constitution Review approved the electoral commission’s request for a three-month extension of the 2011 election timetable.
Nigeria’s House of Assembly is expected to approve the bill that will extend the date of the elections which was originally scheduled for January next near.
Dazan said Nigerians are expecting an extension of the election time table to ensure a credible vote next year.
“Just yesterday, they held a public hearing and they assured all Nigerians and members of the international community who were in attendance that today’s reading of the bill will be the final one after which the law will be subjected by the approval by the speakers of the 36 states of the federation,” Dazan said.
He further said that once the law is gazetted the electoral commission “will now operate from a strong position of law to conduct the elections as extended by the national assembly.”
INEC officials said the electoral commission has begun civic education campaigns ahead of the general elections.