From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will commence its nominations for the 2023 general elections today with primaries to choose candidates for the state Houses of Assembly and House of Representatives elections.
Primaries to choose the senatorial and governorship candidates is expected to hold on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, while the national convention to choose the PDP presidential candidate will hold on May 28/29 in Abuja.
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A statement by the PDP National Organizing Secretary, Umar Bature, said only three ad-hoc delegates per ward and one national delegate per local government area will participate in the exercises.
According to him, “by virtue of Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act, 2022, delegates to vote at the Indirect Primaries and National Convention of political parties to elect candidates for elections shall be those democratically elected for that purpose only.
“Consequently, those qualified and eligible to vote as delegates in the forthcoming primaries and national convention of our great party, the PDP are the three ad-hoc delegates per ward, elected at the ward congresses and one national delegate per local government, elected at the Local Government Area congresses.”
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The National Assembly had last week altered Section 84 (8) of the Electoral Act 2022 to enable automatic delegates, which includes elected members of the executive and legislative arms of government, as well as party officials to participate in political parties primaries.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to sign the amended Electoral Act, compelling political parties to resort to only elected delegates for the conduct of their primaries.
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Meanwhile, there are indications that the PDP may have ruled out automatic tickets for serving members of the national and state Houses of Assembly, who have indicated interest to re-contest their position in the 2023 polls.
Sunday Sun reliably gathered that though the decision to grant automatic tickets to lawmakers is the prerogative of the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) the issue was never discussed at any of the NEC meetings held recently.
A highly placed party source told Sunday Sun that “it is for NEC to decide whether automatic ticket should be granted to anyone. But the matter never came up in NEC.”
Consequently, several members of the National Assembly elected on the platform of the PDP are currently engaged in epic battles in the respective constituencies to clinch the opposition party nominations for the 2023 polls.
Sunday Sun gathered that most of the lawmakers facing serious opposition in their respective constituencies, in their quest to return to the parliament in 2023, are those who have spent more than two tenures in the National Assembly.
Also, in that category are lawmakers, from federal constituencies and senatorial districts, where the positions rotate among the different components.