Abuja - The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega on Monday blew the whistle for the commencement of campaigns by political parties.
However, parties can only campaign for their presidential and National Assembly candidates, effective from Sunday, while electioneering for governorship and state assembly candidates would have to wait till November 30.
According to Jega’s Chief Press Secretary, Kayode Idowu, INEC’s action is anchored on section 99 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2010, which states that ban on political campaigns shall be lifted 90 days before the polling day.
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The presidential and National Assembly elections have been fixed for February 14, 2015 while the governorship and House of Assembly polls will hold on February 28.
Idowu, in an interview with reporters in Abuja, said the commission would, however, monitor the campaign spending by political parties and their candidates.
Therefore, he added that the commission has put in place a system to ensure that it tracks campaign spending by political parties and their candidates, as directed by the law.
Though the commission said it had saddled its department on political parties’ registration and monitoring with the task of ensuring that parties and their candidates act within the limit of the law, it added that it can only do so if the offence has been committed.
Section 91 of the Electoral Act, 2010 put maximum spending by a candidate for presidential election at N1 billion; N200 million for a governorship hopeful while a person vying for either senatorial or House of Representatives seat has a spending limit of N40 million and N20 million respectively.
The amount for a House of Assembly candidate is N10 million; the same with anybody running for local government chairmanship.
Idowu said unlike 2011 general election, INEC had created a department to monitor spending of candidates in the 2015 election.
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