The Ondo state government has announced plans to hold local council elections by December 16, 2023.
The Chairman of the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC), Yomi Odinakin, disclosed this in a schedule released in Akure, the state capital on Friday.
Mr. Odinakin said that on the same day, elections will be held for the positions of the head and deputy head of 18 local administrative councils of the province.
“The announcement is in line with the provisions of Article 28, Section 1 of the 2022 Elections Act, which states that it must be made at least 360 days before the election,” he said.
Mr. Odinakin explained that the preparations for the election of the CPC are in line with the “provisions of the electoral act” to avoid litigation, assuring that the exercise will be free and fair.
“ODIEC will continue to ensure that local government elections are conducted in a credible and acceptable manner”.
The head of ODIEK noted that the state election organization will meet with stakeholders and political parties to discuss the main direction of the election.
From April 10 to June 10, 2023, contesting political parties will hold party primaries to be monitored by the electoral body, according to a copy of the schedule obtained by the Peoples Gazette.
The election campaign will start on July 17, 2023 and end on December 14.
Earlier, ODIEC spokesperson Rotimi Olorunfemi said the list of approved candidates would be published by July 17, 2023.
In August 2020, the last local council elections were held in 18 local council areas and 203 wards of the state due to boycott by opposition parties in Ondo state.
Political parties claimed that the LG elections at that time could not be free, fair and transparent.
About 15 political parties have approached the Akure High Court to stop the election exercise.
But Justice Adegboega Adebusoe, who presided over the case, dismissed the application by the political parties on the ground that it contravened Section 58 of the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission Act.
The election was later conducted with members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) participating in the exercise.