THE Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) has rescheduled local government elections for August 15, 2020 in the state.
The chairman of the electoral commission, Jossy Eze, disclosed this in Abakaliki on Wednesday, during a consultative meeting with different political parties, stakeholders, non-governmental organization (NGOs) and journalists held at the commission’s headquarters.
Last week, the state governor, Dave Umahi lifted the suspension on political activities for the conduct of the local government elections.
The elections were earlier scheduled for April 2020, but the governor suspended the exercise, because of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some other political parties had already concluded primary elections before the suspension of the exercise.
Following the indefinite postponement of the polls, the governor had appointed and swore in caretaker chairmen for the 13 councils in the state after the expiration of the tenure of the elected chairmen ended on May 29.
At the consultative meeting on Wednesday, the EBSIEC’s Chairman said: “We are now ready with activities leading to Local Government elections in the state, August 15, 2020, a date for the conduct of local government elections to elect chairmen and councillors in the 13 councils in the state.
“In fixing the date, we were mindful of COVID-19 rules, EBSIEC has revised its guidelines to be in line with COVID-19 protocols.”
According to Eze, EBSIEC is not starting the processes afresh. We merely suspended the exercise last April, and we are taking off from where we stopped.
He directed political parties participating in the exercise to notify the general public of all the activities of the electoral commission, including selection of ad-hoc staff, enlightenment, sensitization and political campaigns.
Eze assured representatives of different political parties of the electoral commission’s readiness to give all of them equal level playing ground in the exercise.
He also allayed fear that pending litigations might affect the exercise, insisting that the electoral coCcmmission, had all the legal backings to proceed with the exercise.