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REPS EMPOWER INEC TO PRUNE POLITICAL PARTIES

By NBF News

The House of Representatives yesterday altered Section 83 of the Electoral Act and empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] to reduce the number of registered political parties in the country.

The act will come to effect after a registered political party participates in an election but fails to win a seat in the National Assembly or State Assembly.

Also, any party which breaches any of the requirements for registration would also be scrapped by INEC.

Before a party is registered by INEC, Section 80 of the Act stipulates that an association seeking registration as a political party, must maintains a functional and veritable offices in at least two-third of the 774 Local government areas of the Federation.

Such an association seeking registration must also have at least, 10,000 registered and verifiable members in at least two-third of the states of the Federation.

INEC was also mandated in the new act to verify all the claims of the associations seeking registration and submit its reports to the National Assembly and publish same in at least three national newspapers before registration.

Following the need to harmonise the views of members on the issue of political parties, registration, the Speaker, Dimeji Bankole named an ad-hoc committee led by the Minority Leader, Alhaji Ali Ndume to collate the views of the public and report back to the House.

Presenting the recommendations, which were adopted at the plenary, Ndume said that the committee consulted extensively on all the options made available and concluded that there was the need to set a standard for political parties to exist in the country.