AHEAD of the emergence of its presidential candidate for the 2011 Presidential election, there were strong indications, yesterday, that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will kick start its primary elections to elect candidates for the State Houses of Assembly, National Assembly, Governorship and the Presidential candidate, September 11.

Vanguard reports iindicates that this was part of the decisions reached by the National Working Committee, NWC, at the end of its Wednesday meeting.

It was learnt that the leadership decided that unless there was any change in the programme, the party would start the state Houses of Assembly, September 11, just as there will no longer be what the party described as an Eagle Square convention.

In the next couple of days, the party would release guidelines for the nomination of the candidates for the 2011 general election, even as the party was said to be waiting for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to release the guidelines between today and Monday.

A top source of the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, said: “We have agreed that all things being equal that the primary elections to elect all category of candidates from the State Houses of Assembly to the Presidential will kick off by September 11. This will enable us to make room to meet the necessary guidelines and deadline for the submission of the lists of candidates to INEC as the case may be.”

Staggered series of primary elections

On when the presidential primaries would take place, the source said the presidential primary election must be concluded by the second week of October Convention, noting that this was against the backdrop that the new arrangement of the PDP which emphasised staggered series of primary elections on zonal bases.

He said: “Unlike what was obtained in the past, there will no longer be an Eagle Square. So, by and large, our guidelines which would give full details of all categories of the primary election would be out next week.”

On the meeting between the National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo and chairmen of 36 states chapters and the Federal Capital Territory, the source said: “It is true that the national chairman held a meeting with all the state chairmen without the knowledge of other members of the NWC, but in our meeting with him on Wednesday, the chairman has apologized.”

He said the National Chairman explained that it became very impromptu because he took the advantage of the meeting President Goodluck Jonathan had with all the states PDP chairmen to have a meeting with them, adding that the Chairman said the action was not designed to hurt the members of the NWC.

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