Nigeria to hold presidential election on January 22, 2011

09:02, September 08, 2010      

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Nigeria will hold the presidential election on January 22, 2011, the national electoral commission announced on Tuesday.

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Attahiru Jega said in Abuja that the country's general elections would start in January 2011 just as it had concluded plans to compile fresh voter registers beginning from Oct. 18.

It is mandatory that the elections kick off in January as guaranteed by the constitution, Jega said, adding that any shift in date would affect the entire election schedule, including the period of litigations.

The new Electoral Act is also clear on the issue of elections and explanations of the order of the elections are also entrenched in the Act, he added.

According to the schedule, National Assembly elections will take place on Jan. 15, and Jan. 22 is the date for presidential elections while State Assembly and Governorship elections will take place on Jan. 29.

Party primaries are scheduled to take place from Sept. 11 to Oct. 30 while voter registration is scheduled for Nov. 1 to 14.

The electoral umpire on Monday bemoaned the short period available to under it within which to plan for and conduct the general elections.

Jega said the greatest challenge facing the election body in its plan to conduct the 2011 elections is the short time frame on which it is working.

According to him, the result of the forthcoming elections will be enhanced if additional time is allowed for the Commission to plan and execute the election exercise efficiently.

Meanwhile, Nigerian main opposition party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), on Tuesday expressed concern over the January timing of the 2011 general elections and suggested a shift of the polls to April.

Spokesman for the party Lai Mohammed said the party is voicing its concern now because it wants to assist INEC so that it can provide a level playing ground for all stakeholders.

"We are voicing our concern because we want to assist INEC, that is why I said we will be very relieved if INEC can come out and tell us that we are wrong," he said.

"Let INEC tell us that the Data Capture Machines will arrive at the end of this month that we don't need 45 days for integration, we actually need two weeks," he added.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:梁军)

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