The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Tuesday revealed that 86 new political associations want to be registered as political parties ahead of the 2019 general elections.
He said, “The number of applications for registration of new associations as political parties now stands at 86.”
Yakubu made this disclosure at INEC’s quarterly meeting with leaders of political parties at its headquarters in Abuja, adding that political parties are important vehicles in the management of the country’s democracy.
INEC recently re-registered 10 political parties that were deregistered following their poor showing at the 2015 general elections.
Their re-registration puts current number of political parties in Nigeria as shown on INEC website to 40.
The re-registered parties include Better Nigeria Peoples Parties (BNPP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Peoples Progressives Party (PPP), Democratic Alternative (DA), National Action Council (NAC) and National Democratic Liberty Party (NDLP).
The rest are Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN), National Conscience Party (NCP), Nigeria Element Progressives Party (NEPP) and the National Unity Party (NUP).
Yakubu, during the meeting congratulated the re-registered parties, disclosing that “the names of these political parties have already been uploaded on our website.
“But, I will like to appeal to those of them, out of the ten that are yet to open their offices, to do so and immediately notify the commission.”
Yakubu further congratulated the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) on the successful conduct of its election, which according to him, will be useful for the development of the country’s electoral system.
INEC boss also said that the agenda of the quarterly meeting involved INEC’s proposed strategic plan for 2017-2021, court judgement on the roles of political parties, violence in the conduct of parties’ primaries and elections generally.
IPAC chairman, Mohammed Nalado, speaking at the meeting called on the electoral body to look for alternatives to deregistration of political parties.
Nalado regretted that INEC failed to properly consult political parties before fixing dates for 2019 general elections.
Though he admitted that INEC chairman notified IPAC of the decision, he however said that the council did not know whether the information was official or not until it was in the newspapers.
He said, “We had meeting with INEC chairman, unfortunately we did not understand him whether he was telling us officially or he was just giving us information on how our elections should be done. I hope this issue will be discussed thoroughly here.”
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