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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Niger registered 198,038 new voters in the Continuous Voter’s Registration (CVR) exercise between Jan. and Aug. 2018, the Resident Electoral Commission, Prof. Samuel Egwu, has said.

Egwu, who addressed a news conference in Minna on Wednesday, said that the CVR would be suspended on Aug. 17, 2018 and advised eligible persons yet to register, to rush so as to beat the deadline.

According to him, the law permits INEC to carry on with the exercise up to not less than 60 days to the general elections in 2019.

He explained that the exercise had been conducted in phases lasting three months each, saying that it was targeted at those that had just turned 18 years.

Others included those seeking to transfer their voting locations, those with proven evidence of loss of PVCs and voters with defaced PVCs.

He said that the period for the exercise had been extended to include weekends, while the sitting periods on week days are now 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., instead of 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Egwu said that INEC envisaged, based on past experience, that there will be a surge in the number of citizens that would need the attention of the commission, with the Aug. 17 deadline in sight.

“We also knew that our human and technical capacities could be overstretched and prepared for it,” he said.

The REC said that there would be services in the area offices alongside rotation among the wards where CVR would take place simultaneously with PVCs collection.

Egwu called on voters, whose PVCs had been printed, to come forward and collect them.

According to the INEC official, 82,896 PVCs had been printed from the 93,020 voters registered between April and December 2017, and were being distributed to the owners.

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