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Too many parties unwieldy - INEC Commissioner

25 December 2012, 14:41

Abuja - Mr Ishmael Igbani, INEC Commissioner in-charge of Election Monitoring, has said that too many political parties are unwieldy for elections in a developing country like Nigeria.

Igbani, who said this in Abuja on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), noted that ''For election purposes Nigeria doesn’t need too many political parties.

''Even though having too many political parties is not a crime, all of them cannot be participating in one election.

''Looking at the ballot with over 65 candidates having their names on a ballot paper would be confusing to the electorate, and the worse scenario is when there is more than one election in a day, it becomes more confusing.''

The INEC commissioner advised politicians to come together and set criteria on how names would be placed on the ballot papers.

He said it was time for politicians to stop tying their existence to elections; rather they should focus more on issues that would engender socio-economic growth of the nation.

''The smaller parties instead of fighting for a place on the ballot papers can exploit various avenues with focus on different areas that include gender, environment, health, social issues and other areas of development.’’

On de-registration of some political parties by INEC, Igbani said the exercise was done in accordance with the law.

He explained that the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, declared that: ''Any political party which contests elections and does not win any electoral seat shall be deregistered."

''Our constitution allows for a multi-party system, but INEC has the power to de-register parties and it has started and it is a continuous process as the commission will continue to de-register parties that do not meet requirements.’’

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