Defeat at elections shouldn’t be condition for deregistration of parties, ADP tells INEC
National chairman of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Engineer Yagbayi Sani has called for the review of laws guiding registration and regulation of political parties.
About 74 political parties were on Thursday axed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, ((INEC) leaving the nation with 18 political parties.
National chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu told newsmen that the electoral body took the decision after concluding its assessment of the erstwhile 92 political parties.
Condition for parties to be axed included ”breach of any of the requirements for registration as a political party; failure to win at least 25% of the votes cast in one State of the Federation in a presidential election or 25% of the votes cast in one local government area of a State in a governorship election.”
Another requirement was ”failure to win at least one ward in a chairmanship election, one seat in the National or State Assembly election or one seat in a councillorship election.”
Engineer Sani, however, argued that defeat at general elections should not be a condition for deregistration of parties.
He noted that the last general elections were not free, fair and transparent but a charade.
He said:” We should not reduce the number of parties, that will be constricting the political space. The last election was a mockery of democracy. Failure to win elective offices should not be a condition to deregister parties. How can you legislate parties out of existence?
”Democracy is about ideology, about participation not about winning elections. The conditions should not be too stringent because it is people inalienable right to associate.”
The ADP chairman further called on President Muhammadu Buhari to walk his talk on the transparent electoral process by signing the amended Electoral Act.
Ahead of the Edo and Ondo states governorship elections, the ADP chairman called on politicians to consider his party to realise their ambition.
”The ADP assures all interested aspirants who intend to run under our platform a level playing ground during the governorship elections, provided it is within the ambit of our laws and extant rules. This is irrespective of gender, class and hegemony. Our platform is open and available to all aspirants who have exhibited pragmatism and can provide credible leadership in all the states of Nigeria.
”As a Political Party, the ADP will continue to support every genuine effort in deepening democracy to bring about the desired development Nigerians are yearning for. In view of this, we are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Electoral Bill which will guaranty credible electioneering in Nigeria.”