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House of Representatives on Tuesday passed for second reading a Bill seeking deregister political parties without at least a seat in any State House of Assembly.

Titled “A Bill for an Act to Alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Strengthen Political Parties Structures in Nigeria; and for Related Matters, it is sponsored by Hon.Oberuakpefe Anthony Afe.

Leading the debate on the general principle of the bill at the plenary, Afe (PDP–Delta) said the bill when passed into law will help to regulate political parties in the contest of elections.

He said that if a political party did not win a seat in the State House of Assembly, such party should be deregistered.

But in his contribution, Hon. Nkem Abonta (PDP Abia) rejected the claims, favouring the need to respect the freedom of association.

He said it wound be unconstitutional to exclude any party from political participation.

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Abonta added that the principle of democracy was that the minority would have their way while the majority would also have their say.

He added that a political party may lose election for state assembly and win at the local government councils.

The bill when subjected to voice vote however got overwhelming support of the majority and eventually passed for second reading.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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