The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it will not allow candidates of 14 political parties to participate in the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa and Kogi states.
Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, disclosed this through a statement issued in Abuja on Friday.
The INEC commissioner also disclosed that 19 political parties willingly withdrew their nominations for the elections.
Okoye said that out of the 14 rejected invalid nominations, eight were from Kogi, while six were rejected from Bayelsa. He said that at the close of nomination, 23 political parties were cleared in Kogi with 18 parties withdrawing from the race, while one party withdrew in Bayelsa leaving 45 political parties in the race.
“At the close of the time stipulated by sections 31, 33 and 35 of Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) for the submission of the names of nominated candidates, 49 nominations were received for Kogi.
” Out of these, 41 nominations were valid, while eight were invalid. Subsequently, 18 political parties withdrew from contesting the elections. Therefore, 23 political parties will contest the governorship election in Kogi.
” For Bayelsa State, a total of 52 nominations were received. Out of these, 46 were valid, while 6 were invalid. One political party has since withdrawn from the contest, leaving a total of 45 political parties to contest the governorship election in Bayelsa.’’
Okoye recalled that INEC monitored the primaries conducted for nomination of candidates for the two states and also made public its preliminary review of the list and personal particulars submitted by the parties at the close of nomination.
“After the review, we disclosed that some of the nominated candidates for governorship and deputy were below the minimum age prescribed by the constitution and that the Commission was considering further action.” He stated.