By Akanimo Kufre
Akwa Ibom State Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) has scheduled Saturday, 11th November 2017, for the election of Chairmen and Councillors into the 31 Local Government Councils of the state.
Chairman of the Commission, Mrs. Gloria Ukpong disclosed this at the end of a meeting with Chairmen and Secretaries of all registered political parties in the state .
Speaking, she said the meeting was to set the tone for the forthcoming Local Government elections in the state, “the purpose of this meeting is to adequately explore some salient issues proceeding Local Government Elections in the State, especially as it relates to the succesful conduct of primaries and the process of norminations by political parties” and spoke of the need to conduct party primaries transparently so that, acceptable candidates can emerge for the actual elections.
Mrs. Ukpong added that as potent political actors in the electoral process, there was need for the party leaders to realize that, grassroots elections are as important as national elections, hence, party primaries be conducted in line with best practices and internationally accepted standards devoid of violence and discriminations.
According to her, ‘‘Democracy also allows consensus nomination of candidates; provided its done transparently and the emerging candidates are accepted by the people’’.
The AKISIEC boss used the occasion to emphasize that, the eligibility and credibility of candidates produced by political parties and, the processes leading to their nominations to a large extent, has significant implications on the ultimate outcome of elections and effective representation in general.
She reminded the party leaders to be conscious of the extant laws, guidelines and principles governing the conduct of such exercise saying that, once this is achieved, our democratic environment would be greatly enhanced and a transparent electoral system would be established.
The Commission, Mrs Ukpong assured , shall be transparency, protect every vote to ensure that it country, adding that a time table of activities for the elections will be made public.
Present at the meeting were the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Don Awunah, Electoral Commissioners and Officers of the Commission