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Soludo makes case for Option A4

By Charles Kumolu

FORMER Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Prof Charles Soludo, has said that calls for electoral reforms must accommodate  modified Option A4 electoral system, saying that it would help in producing acceptable results in 2011 general election.

Prof Soludo in a statement,  also argued that to ensure real electoral contest and effective choices, there was need to go back to the two-party system or incentive for the evolution of such.

Soludo, who was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Anambra State, called on political parties to ensure internal democracy, saying  it would ensure peaceful emergence of candidates.
‘We can’t continue like this’

According to him, “we can not continue this way. Only an electoral reform where only votes count and all votes are counted will guarantee internal democracy. Within the political parties, where people’s votes do not count in electoral victories, party tickets are considered personal favours by the leadership.

“Where votes count, you insist on presenting candidates who are ‘electable’.

“It is a two-way street. We must openly debate how voting system can guarantee free and fair elections. My view is that Nigeria should not be treated as a homogenous entity. In some places, modified ‘Option A4’, the open queuing system might work. The issue is that we need to debate it.”

In addition, he lamented the absence of a viable opposition party in Nigeria and noted that the near absence of opposition made it possible for PDP candidates to win elections with ease.

He said, “my view is that currently, we hardly have serious electoral competition, especially at the Presidential level. With the dominance of the PDP, once its presidential candidate emerges, there is every probability that such a candidate will win in a free and fair election.

“The opposition is fragmented, and the electoral arithmetic favours the PDP. To ensure real electoral contest and effective choices, it may be necessary that we go back to the two-party system or provide incentive for the evolution of such.

“There is something to learn from the Ghanaian experience.”


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