There are strong reports that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, may be disqualified from the Edo State Governorship race,
According to the reports, the PDP’s decision to reschedule its primary election without recourse to the Guidelines released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, may backfire against it.
The party had earlier slated its primary election for Saturday, June 20, but decided to shift it to Tuesday, June 23.
While the Electoral Act requires political parties to give a 21-day notice to INEC for the conduct of their primaries, the election Guidelines and Regulations released by the Electoral Umpire requires political parties to give the Commission a 7-day notice of their decision to reschedule their primary elections.
They are required to notify INEC, stating clearly the reason(s) for the rescheduling, as well as the new date, venue, and mode of the primary election.
The new date by the PDP is 2 days short of the 7 days notice as stipulated by INEC in its Guidelines.
The PDP’s sudden rescheduling has been interpreted to mean that the opposition party is paving the way for Governor Godwin Obaseki who recently defected from the All Progressives Congress, APC, to participate in its primary election.
With the debacle faced by the PDP, Experts say that it is now left for INEC to interpret its own laws.
Some Political Watchers say that if the PDP goes ahead to use the new date, INEC will declare the primary null and void, and the PDP will not have a Governorship Candidate in the Edo State election.
Supporters of the APC are already calling on the INEC to enforce the election Guidelines, as they did in the case of Zamfara State.
Already, a recent Supreme Court verdict clearly stated that INEC’s Guidelines are superior to the constitution of the parties, when it comes to elections.
However, some Political Watchers argue that the PDP could not have taken the decision, without consulting its Lawyers.