News Update


Header Ads Widget

OPINION: Surrogate, Placeholder Or Proxy Candidature Of A Vice-Presidential Candidate Under The Electoral Act, 2022 – Prof. Nnamdi Obiaraeri.

Prof. Nnamdi Obiaraeri.

Stricto sensu, legally speaking, there is no such thing as "placeholder" or "surrogate" or "proxy" candidate under the Electoral Act, 2022. Such words are neither deployed nor interpreted throughout the gamut of the nascent Electoral Act, 2022.

Thus, any duly nominated candidate remains a candidate for all purposes subject however to recognised exceptions such death of the candidate or voluntary withdrawal of candidature by the candidate.

Specifically, what has come to now be ingeniously regarded placeholder or surrogate or proxy candidature is brought about by the slim window of opportunity available under the provision of section 31 of the Electoral Act 2022 which states that-

“A candidate may withdraw his candidature by notice in writing signed by the candidate to the political party that nominated him for such election and the political party shall covey such withdrawal to the Commission not later than 90 days to the election.”*

From the foregoing, the withdrawal must be by the affected candidate via-

(a) a duly signed notice in writing;

(b) such notice of withdrawal by the candidate must be made to the political party;

(c) the political party shall convey the withdrawal of the candidature by the candidate to INEC.

(d) Finally, the processes envisaged in (a), (b), (c) above must be cumulatively satisfied within a time limit of not later than 90 days to the election.

It needs be accentuated that at all material times, the withdrawal of candidature by the candidate must be voluntary and not by force, coercion or intimidation. The erstwhile practice of substitution by a political party is no longer supported by the current electoral law.

Once the requirements of the provision of section 31 of the Electoral Act are duly satisfied, a political party can take advantage of it to field a replacement candidate. That is the only way a placeholder or proxy candidature can be achieved without contravening the electoral laws.

With respect to a nominated Vice-Presidential candidate, the process for replacing a Vice-Presidential candidate upon valid withdrawal of candidature in terms stipulated under section 31 of the Electoral Act, 2022 above does not involve the conduct of primary election.

This is because a Vice-Presidential candidate is nominated by a Presidential candidate on a joint ticket.

Prof. Obiaraeri, N.O, Ph.D (Law), B.L., etc.


Post a Comment