Ebonyi - The Ebonyi Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC), has commenced preparation for the 2013 local council election, its Chairman, Chief John Nkwuda, has said.
Nkwuda said on Monday in Abakaliki while interacting with newsmen on plans for the polls that, the early preparation was to correct lapses noticed in the conduct of previous elections.
``We noticed that one of the major loopholes of past elections was voter apathy, caused by poor voter education, especially in rural areas.
``We are therefore commencing the preparations with intensive voter education campaign starting from Tuesday, July 24, 2012.
``We intend to cover the 64 Development Centres in the state before the end of the year, to ensure that the electorate was adequately informed about the election,'' he said.
According to the chairman, three enlightenement teams will be constituted to cover the Senatorial zones of the state to ensure easy accessibility and success of the programme.
``We will consult eminent resource persons who will educate the people on all intricacies involved in the elections.
``Much emphasis will be placed on the content of the new electoral law in the state, which ratified the use of the open ballot system instead of the secret ballot system.
``They will also be taught on their responsibilities as voters, ways of ensuring adequate security at the polls and other relevant information,” he added.
The chairman promised that the commission would do its best to minimise litigation before and after the elections.
``Political parties and interest groups usually go to court within such periods, to obtain injunctions stopping the conduct of elections.
``We are determined to check this trend by ensuring that relevant stakeholders in the electoral process are adequately informed on the plans of the commission.
"We will announce the date of the election by the first quarter of 2013, as the tenure of the present council chairmen and councillors will elapse same year,'' he said.
Nkwuda assured all political parties that would participate in the exercise of fairness, and advised them to start their own preparations on time.
The chairman stressed that the commission would not accept any candidate who did not emerge through stipulated party guidelines.
"We also hope to be funded on the first line charge as other agencies in the electoral process to ensure effective discharge of our duties,” he stated.