INEC May Register More Parties 2015 Elections – Jega



Teddy Oscar, Abuja

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has assured that many political groups or associations seeking to be registered as political parties may be so registered before the general election in 2015 in the country.

Speaking at a public hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on INEC on Tuesday, Jega stated that it is the responsibility of INEC to register political parties.

He also said that INEC has no powers to declare the seat of any political office holder vacant, if there is no established case of crisis in his or her party upon defection to another party.

The INEC boss noted that there are presently 26 political parties in the county and submitted that more political associations can be registered into parties before the 2015 general elections, if the constitutional requirements are met by these political groups.

Jega further said that no political party has been engulfed in any form of crisis that has necessitated the defection of its members or indeed any elected public official to another political party.

He pointed out that it has not been confirmed that there is crisis in any party, saying that  “there is absolutely no crisis in any political party in the country.”

According to him, if there is anything to be done to by the commission in order to declare the office of any elected public official vacant, it can only be done when there is a clearer definition of what is crisis by a competent court of law in the country.

While fielding questions from some. of the lawmakers on the rationale for the deployment of the military and other security personnel during the recently held gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun states, Jega said that it requires an average of three policemen to provide security of a polling unit during an election.

Jega, who said the commission would adopt what he called Election Risk Management Tools (ERMT) during the general elections in 2015, explained INEC’s deployment of the military in the previous elections as a decision based on security assessment reports by the security agencies.

The INEC chief further explained that the military does outside cordon duties during elections and added that all the military men thus far deployed to oversee the conduct of gubernatorial election in Ekiti and Osun states were taken from the brigades covering those states.

Speaking against the backdrop of disenfranchisement of some voters and the preparedness of INEC to conduct a hitch free election in 2015, he said “in line with international best practices,security officials on election duties will be enfranchised to vote.”

The proposed amendments  were contained sections 8(1), 11,13,18,27,28,29,31,33,45,47,63, 65,74,77,86,87,90,94,99,100, 117(A), 123, 138,143 and deletion of paragraph 51(1) and (2) of the Electoral Act 2010.

The INEC boss who supported the proposed amendments to the principal Act was in agreement with some political party chieftains and other relevant stakeholders.

Earlier in his remarks, chairman of the committee Hon. Jerry Manwe, said that the committee will be impartial in their report on the proposed amendments to the Electoral Act 2010.

The public hearing is titled: A Bill for an Act to Amend the Electoral Act No 6,2010 And For Other Matters Connected Therewith 2014.



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