The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would require an amendment to the electoral Act by the National Assembly before the commission could de-register any existing political party in the country.
At least 90 political parties were registered by INEC to take part in the 2019 general elections, but only few of them won elective positions in the general elections. This has fuelled agitations from stakeholders for deregistration of non-performing parties.
But speaking in an interview with BusinessDay, Thursday, Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and chairman of the commission’s committee on information and voter education, noted that INEC does not have the power to deregister any political party because such an action would be against the electoral Act.
The INEC National Commissioner stressed that the commission had no choice but to register new parties which met its deadlines ahead of the general elections, adding that the commission would be guided by law on the issue.
“We would be guided by law on the issue. It is a constitutional provision; the amendment of the electoral law is clear on our mandate. It is only an amendment to the electoral Act that would make that possible,” he said.
Okoye further canvased a dialogue among stakeholders in the country on the issue, stressing that the commission would seek a reform of the electoral process after the completion of the 2019 general elections.
“Right now we are busy with the elections and there are petitions to deal with; it is after that we would seek a review of the electoral process from stakeholders,” Okoye added.