The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved a policy to conduct elections despite the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, announced this in a statement on Thursday.
He disclosed that the strategy tagged “Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of COVID-19 Pandemic” would be released on Monday next week. Okoye explained that the policy would enable INEC officials and staff to handle the challenges of conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that it would provide a guide for engagement with various stakeholders as they prepare for the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States, as well as some bye-elections.
According to the INEC spokesperson, the commission is committed to conducting all elections that are due within the extant legal framework. He, however, noted that the electoral umpire would put a premium on public safety and mitigation of health risks from coronavirus.
The commission had earlier announced that it would not postpone the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States scheduled for September 19 and October 10, 2020 respectively.