28 December 2012

Nigeria: 2015 - Independent Candidacy Likely - -Rep Dike

Photo: Vanguard
President Goodluck Jonathan

Chairman, House of Representa-tives Committee on Inter and Intra-Party Relations, Rep. Fort Ifeanyi Dike, (PDP Anambra) said that independent candidacy may be allowed for the 2015 general elections.

He said in Abuja that despite the likely problems of independent candidacy especially due to large numbers of likely contestants, his committee has also realised the enormity of problems faced by aspirants in political parties which capitalise on their being the only platform to contest elections and failed to strictly abide by the rules in picking their candidates due to lack of internal democracy.

"The major challenge we can point out is lack internal democracy in political parties, the constitution has shut the door on individual's ambition on the platform of inde-pendent candidate, so the political party remains the only gate way for any Nigerian to realise his or her political ambition. There are problems associated with the inde-pendent candidates system too, because, you may have an unlimited number of candidates wanting to contest and you'll begin to manage them, but with the problem we now see in the operation of political parties against independent candi-dates in a country like Nigeria, it is not advisable not to give inde-pendent candidacy a chance," he said.

When asked if the constitution and the Electoral Act would be amended to accommodate independent candidacy, he said, "Now that we are identifying the problems, my committee has made recommendations trying to solve these problems, one of which is allowing independent candidates. Lack of internal democracy is serious, parties in general elections expect INEC to be free and fair in elections."

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