Wednesday, April 23, 2014

CNPP condemns de-registration of parties; PDP, DPP support INEC

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INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega

The CNPP blamed the INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, for the action.

The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, has condemned the de-registration of 28 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, describing it as a breach of the 1999 Constitution.

The Publicity Secretary of the CNPP, Osita Okechukwu, said the move was a target to disrupt the 2015 elections.

“The constitution says that associations shall form in Nigeria freely and the Electoral Act also said that electoral offenders shall be punished.

“Jega (INEC Chairman) has not punished the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State who was caught carrying re-election materials. We see this as signs of dictatorship aimed at rigging the 2015 elections,” Mr. Okechukwu said.

While the CNPP is condemning the move, some major parties have declared their support for the de-registration.

The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and the Democratic People’s Party, DPP, on Friday in Abuja commended the electoral body for the de-registration.

The National Auditor of the PDP, Bode Mustapha, said that the exercise would sanitise the polity and create a better footing for democracy in Nigeria. He said the proliferation of political parties in Nigeria was not too healthy for democracy.

Mr. Mustapha said the de-registration exercise should serve as a pointer that the success of any thriving democracy was not in the number of existing political parties, but the coordination and ability to do it right.

He said this exercise would give the political dispensation the ethical and noble instruments needed to give the next generation a proper foundation.

Also, the Chairman of PDP in Enugu State, Vita Abba, said the de-registration was a step in the right direction as it was in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

Mr. Abba said the move would encourage existing parties to work hard to secure victory at elections.

“If you do not exist in the heart of the electorate, there is no other option than to deregister you, so, I think it is a very good omen.

“It gives room for the people to improve on their electoral value and ensure victory,” he said.

In his reaction, the National Chairman of the DPP, Bashir Magashi, advised the chieftains of the affected political parties to come together and form a strong opposition.

“There are so many strong politicians that are affected in the exercise, they should challenge the situation and come together, consolidate on their experience to form a formidable opposition.

“This will make political terrain in Nigeria to be more competitive,” he said.

Mr. Magashi said even though the Nigerian constitution allowed for a multi-party system, INEC still had the power to de-register parties.

He said it had become so obvious with the amendment of Electoral Act in 2010 that INEC would de-register parties that did not meet its guidelines.

“Electoral Act 2010 as amended, states that ‘any political party which contests elections and does not win any electoral seat shall be de-registered,” the party leader said. “This must be the law, which INEC applied to the affected parties.”

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