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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

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Why we de-registered 28 political parties in Nigeria

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday in Abuja justified its decision to de-register 28 political parties, saying the affected parties fell short of the requirement of the law.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, stated this in an interview with journalists during a meeting with stakeholders and its validation conference of 2012-2016 strategic plan. He also warned that “more parties could be de-registered so long as they fail to meet the requirements of the law”.
He, however, said there was room for the registeration of additional parties that met the laid down rules.
Jega said, “We have taken the decision to de-register 28 parties and as far as we are concerned, we have acted legally. Of course, many political parties chiefs, especially of those de-registered, were not happy and we understand that and some of them have gone to court.
“We are law-abiding and we await whatever judgement that will be made. But we believe that the constitution and the Electoral Act has given us the responsibility to register and deregister any political party that falls short of meeting the requirement of the law.”
He also stressed INEC’s desire to create an enabling environment for all stakeholders to partake in the country’s electoral process.
Jega also canvassed a national policy to cater for persons with disability, but ruled out the possibility of producing a ballot paper with braille for the disabled persons ahead of the 2015 general elections.
He explained that despite constraints, INEC would do all within its powers to ensure that persons with disabilities participate in future polls.
He said, “We will strive to meet the needs of all stakeholders to make the election environment friendly for all stakeholders and participants, especially those with disabilities. “There are systemic challenges that are beyond our powers to deal with. We would do everything possible within our limits to improve the electoral environment so that it is friendly to people with disabilities.’’

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