- The Independent National Electoral Commission disclosed recently that it has received applications from associations seeking to be registered as political parties
- According to the commission, associations are free to enjoy the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of association
- But in another development, INEC announced that over 100 groups had applied for registration between 2019 and 2021
Abuja- The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says no fewer than 107 groups have approached it for registration as political parties.
The Punch reports that this development is coming less than two years after the Independent National Electoral Commission deregistered 74 political parties due to their poor performance in the 2019 general elections.
Responding to a Freedom of Information request sent by the newspaper on Sunday, December 26 the Deputy Director, SERVICOM at INEC, Olayide Okuonghae, said between 2019 and December 14, 2021, about 101 political associations had applied for registration.
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The letter read in part:
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“In reference to your letter dated December 9, 2021, the commission wishes to inform you that from 2019 to December 14, 2021, a total of 101 political associations have forwarded their letters of intent to be registered as political parties.”
Also confirming the development, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said in an interview with one of our correspondents that INEC could not reveal the names of the associations because they had not been approved as political parties.
“So far, a total of 101 associations have submitted their letters of intent to be registered as political parties. However, a letter of intent does not amount to an application for registration. An association can only be said to have applied when such application is in the prescribed form."
The number of political parties in the country dropped to 18 when INEC deregistered the political parties.
Currently, there are 18 political parties in the country.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng reports that the Senate has reportedly dropped the plan to override Buhari following his decision not to sign the Electoral Amendment Bill 2021.
The senators abandoned the plan following overnight lobbying by six governors.
It was gathered that the six governors, led by the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Mai Mala Buni, lobbied senators overnight to stay action on their plan.
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In a related development, the governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Tambuwal, on Wednesday, December 8, said that conducting direct primaries for all the political parties across Nigeria might be overwhelming for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies.
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It was reported that Tambuwal said that while he is not against either direct or indirect primaries for elections in Nigeria, it is important that the nation sticks to doing that what is democratically right for the people.
Also noting that both direct and indirect primaries are accustomed to their own advantages and disadvantages, Tambuwal warned that arguments should be based on how to improve Nigeria's democracy.