Written by Ere-ebi AGEDAH

FG warns against truncating electoral process

The Federal Government has warned against ongoing plans by the opposition to truncate the electoral process and render the February 23 elections inconclusive

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who issued the warning in a press statement, added that such act can trigger a constitutional crisis and push for an interim government.

According to him, the major opposition party had started laying the groundwork for a constitutional crisis by unleashing unconfirmed result on the public space to claim victory from Saturday's election, even when INEC has yet to announce the result, adding that this action will amount to a clear case of impunity.

Alhaji Mohammed stressed that by usurping the role of INEC through the announcement of result, the opposition has violated the Electoral Act and should face very serious consequences.

''By announcing the result and saying they have won the Feb. 23rd election, the PDP is deliberately seeking to confuse the polity and lay the foundation for rejecting the outcome if, when INEC eventually announces the result, the party does not win.

''This confirms what we said in a series of pre-election press conferences, that the PDP - realizing it cannot win a free and fair election will do everything possible to scuttle the polls, failing which it will proceed to the next stage, which is to discredit the entire electoral process, including the result, with the ultimate aim of precipitating a constitutional crisis and pushing for an interim government,'' he said.

The minister also recalled the alarm raised by the Federal Government over the PDP's decision to set up a parallel electoral body, under the tag of Parallel Voting Tabulation, PVT, System, which the opposition party described as a tool that will determine whether or not it accepts the results of the elections.

''We said, then, that while it is standard practice for political parties to have their own monitoring systems during elections, what is not standard is to set up a pseudo electoral commission and imbue it with the power to collate and announce results - as the PDP is now doing under the guise of PVT. Unfortunately, our warning has proven to be prescient,'' he said.

 

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