By News Agency of Nigeria
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A total of 187 candidates from 12 political parties are contesting for the 25 available seats in the Cross River House of Assembly in the 2023 general elections.
This was disclosed by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the State, Cyril Omorogbe, at a news conference on Wednesday in Calabar.
Mr. Omorogbe said 11 political parties fielded 69 and 28 candidates for the eight House of Representatives seats and the three Senatorial seats, respectively.
He said 11 political parties would contest for the governorship position, adding that Cross River had 322,351 new registrants in the just concluded voter registration.
“The total completed registration recorded in the State at the close of Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) is 322,351 as well as 58,305 voter transfers and 20,822 PVC replacements.
“A total of 73 Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Voter Enrolment Device (VED) were deployed to the 19 Registration Centers in Cross River State (i.e. the 18 LGA offices and the State office) during the exercise,” he stated.
On Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) collection, Mr. Omorogbe said the collection would continue in all the Local Government Area (LGAs) offices of the state, while 69,016 PVCs remained uncollected from 2011 to date.
He expressed regret that the collection rate of the PVCs was low, considering that it was just six months before the general elections.
According to him, “PVCs collection will continue in all the LGA offices. PVC collection by owners was one of the services carried out by our staff alongside the CVR.
“A total of 27,158 new PVCs were received by the State Commission in April for distribution to their owners but at the close of registration, only 3,897 were so far collected by voters, leaving an outstanding balance of 23,261.
“This set of PVCs is for people that registered from June to December 2021.
“From the old PVCs that are left over from 2011 to 2018; we have on record 57,310 PVCs but only 11,555 have been collected by their owners during this period under review with an outstanding 45,755 which is still not collected.”
While appealing for support from the political parties and their candidates ahead of elections, he urged the people to collect their PVCs.
“I pledge that we will continue to work hard to deliver free, fair, and credible elections come 2023,” he stated.
INEC had fixed 25 February 2023 for the Presidential and National Assembly Elections and 11 March 2023 for Governorship and State Assembly elections.
According to the schedule of activities for the general elections released by the commission, campaigns are expected to commence on 28 September and 12 October for the Presidential/NASS and Governorship/State Assembly elections respectively.
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