Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has disclosed that as at March 13, 2017, the number of political associations that have applied to be registered as political parties was put at eighty six (86).
Professor Yakubu made the disclosure during the Commission’s quarterly consultative meeting with leaders of Political Parties, held at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
“Today’s quarterly meeting brings together INEC and Political Parties in order to discuss a number of pertinent issues in the management of our democracy. Political Parties are the only vehicles by which persons can contest for elective positions in our country. This means parties are central to our democracy”, he said.
The INEC Chairman used the opportunity to welcome back 10 Political Parties who were deregistered after the 2015 general elections but were reinstated by court orders. Said he: “As always, INEC will abide by court orders on this one and all other matters.” With the 10 reinstated parties, the total number of Political Parties in the country is now 40.
The reinstated parties are: Better Nigerian Peoples Party (BNPP); Peoples Redemption Party (PRP); Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), Democratic Alternatives (DA), National Action Council (NAC), National Democratic Liberty Party (NDLP), Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN), National Conscience Party (NCP), Nigerian Elements Progressive Party (NEPP), National Unity Party (NUP).
He commended the unity and cooperation of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), and expressed willingness on the Commission’s part to continue to partner with the umbrella body. “We are exceptionally delighted with the unity in IPAC which is very critical to the success of our democracy. I wish to assure you that INEC will continue to partner with IPAC, ”he said.
Professor Yakubu listed some pertinent issues to be discussed at the meeting. They are:
1. INEC’s proposed Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2021;
2. Court judgments and the role of political parties;
3. Violence in the conduct of primaries, in particular and elections in general;
4. Internal party democracy;
5. Due diligence in the nomination of candidates to INEC for election;
6. Political party and campaign finance;
7. Nationwide Continuous Voter Registration by INEC;
8. The outstanding Anambra Central Senatorial re-run election; and
9. A brief presentation by INEC on new ICT platforms and innovations.
In his response, the Chairman of IPAC, Muhammad Nalado, implored the Commission to develop alternative modalities that would prevent future deregistration of Political Parties in a bid to sustain democracy.
He pledged the continued support and cooperation of IPAC in INEC’s, efforts to strengthen the democratic process.