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‘Why INEC must get parties to comply with electoral law on primaries’

BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME

Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has been told to ensure compliance with the Electoral Act on conduct of primary elections by the political parties.

Former acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Pastor Power Aginighan, who made the call in a statement, yesterday, accused the various political parties of flouting  Section 85 of the Electoral Act, 2010 in their primary elections.

Continuing, he urged INEC to sanction parties that fail to comply with the Electoral Act;  enjoining the National Assembly to amend the act to force all political parties to comply with the provision on primary elections.

Aginighan, who was also the immediate past Executive Director Finance and Administration of the NDDC, said most of the parties merely handpicked their executives.

“I am bold to say that there is no party that has fully complied with this provision in the conduct of its congresses and primaries. At best, the provision has only been observed mainly in the breach. The impunity with which political parties violate this very important provision of the law is traceable to the lack of sanctions for non-compliance in the Act”, Aginighan stated.

“This has led to the emergence of hand-picked executives from the ward to local government to state and national levels.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission should conduct internal democracy compliance audit of all the political parties and direct all parties that have not complied with the provisions of Section 85 of the Electoral Act to do so without delay, failing which all executives and candidates of such parties should not be recognised.

“The National Assembly should urgently amend the Electoral Act 2010 to provide for proscription of political parties that do not practice full blown internal democracy”.

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