More than half of the 37 parties that took part in Saturday’s governorship election scored less than 100 votes, an analysis of the results show.
According to the Returning Officer of the election, Zana Akpagu, a total of 2,064,134 residents registered as eligible voters for the election with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Of this number, 457, 511 were accredited while 457,511 actually voted.
The incumbent Governor of Anambra, Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, won the election with about 55 per cent of the votes cast.
The election had set a national record for the number of parties and candidates taking part, 37. The results, however, show what can be considered the abysmal performance of 20 of the political parties, none of whom scored up to 100 votes.
The 20 parties with the lowest score include Democratic Alternative, DA, 97; National Conscience Party, NCP, 74; People’s Redemption Party, PRP, 59; People Progressive Party, PPP, 87; Social Democratic Party, SDP, 20; Young Democratic Party, YDP 70; Young Progressive Party, YPP, 65, and Mega Peoples Political Party, MPPP, 39.
Others include AA, 66 votes; BNPP, 70; HDP, 31; GPM, 41; KOWA, 49; MNPB, 68; MMM, 79; NEPP, 84; NDLP, 33; PPN, 55, and WUP, 69.
The combined votes of these 20 parties, 1195, was less than one per cent of the total votes of the winning candidate, 234,071.
Speaking on the poor performance of the 20 parties, the Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD, Idayat Hassan, said most of the political parties participated in the elections just for the debate and to participate in government.
“INEC should come up with stringent criteria for people before they can have access to the ballot,” Ms. Hassan said. “Access to the ballot should not be automatic.”
“Being automatic will lead to high cost of printing materials. Imagine, there were 37 candidates for the Anambra elections, the cost of logistics. This is capable of confusing voters, especially if they are not literate; if the names of the parties look alike. Therefore, there has to be stringent legislation to curtail this,” she said.
“It is possible, we might have a table clothe ballot paper in 2019 with the number of political parties we might have by then.”
She said the viability of these 20 parties need to be questioned, noting that only few of them campaigned during the elections.
The other point she blamed for the problem of proliferation of parties was lack of internal democracy in political parties. This, she said, makes people leave from one party to the other.