19 December 2012

Nigeria: Why We'll Deregister More Political Parties - Jega

Photo: Vanguard
INEC issuing election notice.

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega yesterday said the process of deregistering political parties was ongoing as more parties that fail to meet constitutional requirements would be axed.

Jega said there was no going back on the commission's recent decision to deregister 28 political parties for failing to meet requirements as clearly stipulated in the 1999 constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act.

INEC Chairman made the disclosure to newsmen on the sidelines of the meeting with stakeholders on the presentation of INEC's Strategic Plan (2012-2013) in Abuja.

While the Commission awaits court decisions and judgement on lawsuits instituted by the deregistered parties, Jega insists that INEC acted legally in the deregistration exercise.

He said, "The Constitution and the Electoral Act have given INEC the powers to register and deregister political parties. These are continuous processes and we are acting in full compliance with the responsibilities given to us as a commission by the Constitution and the Electoral Act.

"We have a taken a decision to deregister 28 political parties, we have made the announcement and as far as we are concerned, we have acted legally. Of course, many political parties especially those deregistered are not happy about the decision, we understand that. Some of them have gone to court. We are law-abiding. We await whatever decisions and judgement are made.

"It is a continuous process, as political parties meet the requirements or registration, we register them. As political parties are in breach of the requirements, and if the breach is such that they deserve deregistration, we will deregister them.

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