22nd June, 2012
The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, said on Thursday in Abuja that more of the moribund political parties would be re-registered.
Jega told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that INEC wanted to ensure that all electoral cases at the tribunal were determined before the de-registration would be announced.
Jega added that the exercise would be carried out after the determination of all the pending electoral cases at the election petition tribunal.
He said the exercise took that long because there were electoral cases with the tribunals that could be won by a de-registered party at a re-run election.
“There are electoral litigation at the tribunals, but as soon as they are disposed of and INEC pronounces any party de-registered, it will be a solid pronouncement that cannot be faulted.”
Jega said “there are some conditions that must be met for any party to operate as a political party and if you don’t meet them you become de-registered.”
He said the major one was if you don’t have a seat in either the state or federal constituency, you have automatically become de-registered.
“Talk about the state constituency we are talking about National or state houses of assembly, presidential or gubernatorial seats.
INEC chairman said the Electoral Act 2010 as amended states that “any political party which contests elections and does not win any electoral seat shall be de-registered.”
“Our constitution allows for a multi party system but we have the power to de-register parties and we have started and it is a continuous process and we will continue to de-register parties that do not meet requirements of continuing to be registered.
“More political parties have met the guidelines for de-registration and that was the law which would soon be applied to the affected parties.
NAN recalled that in April 2012 INEC de-registered seven political parties scaling down the number of registered political parties from 63 to 56.
The affected parties are Democratic Alternative, National Democratic Council, National Action Council, Masses Movement of Nigeria, Nigerian People’s Congress, Nigerian Element Progressive Party and National Unity Party.