Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would continue to register political parties as long as they meet the stipulated requirements.
Head of Department of Election and Party Monitoring, Aminu Idris, stated this, yesterday, at a roundtable on modalities for measuring political parties’ performance in Nigeria organised by Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), with support from Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
The electoral body had on February 6 last year de-registered 74 political parties for failing to win any political office in the last general election. Some of the parties have, however, approached the court to challenge their de-registration by INEC.
But when asked if INEC would still consider application from some parties who might be seeking to re-register as political parties, Idris, who was represented by Shehu Wahab, said the commission would continue to register any association that meets the criteria.
“INEC still operates and will continue to operates by the law. If the laws allow parties to be formed, INEC will not stop the process of party registration. I think the task for us is that we still register parties based on their ability to meet requirement for registration”.
He said INEC was committed to ensuring that parties are formed in line with the constitution and they relate within the ambit of the law in terms of activities that relate to the commission.
Idris said the menace of violence on election day should not be blamed on the commission, rather on politicians who allegedly organise thugs to disrupt the process.
The Country Representative of the WFD, Adebowale Olorunmola, while lamenting incessant defection of politicians from one party to another, decried the dearth of ideology by parties in the country.
“Political parties still remain very important to the democratic process in the country because it is the only platform by which leadership can emerge, but if we continue to have parties that are so difficult to be distinguished from the others in terms of ideology and principles, it shows we have a lot of work with the parties.
“And if we have top party officials still comfortable moving from one party to the other on the eve of election as we have it in Edo State, it calls for concern,” he said.