The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is worried by the lack of moderation among politicians. It is also worried about the increasing difficulty by the political parties to select candidates to contest on their platforms. The INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, voiced these concerns last week in a paper entitled: “Interparty Collaboration, National Stability and
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is worried by the lack of moderation among politicians. It is also worried about the increasing difficulty by the political parties to select candidates to contest on their platforms.
The INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, voiced these concerns last week in a paper entitled: “Interparty Collaboration, National Stability and Democratic Consolidation In Nigeria”, which he delivered at the All Nigeria Political Parties And Political Stakeholders Summit.
Professor Jega regretted that the use of language by politicians, which in most cases was indecorous, tended to lead supporters to follow suit with intemperate language, which ultimately resulted in violence.
He also lamented that the parties found it difficult to select candidates, thereby creating a situation where practically every party nomination process ended in a court case. Explained he: “In most cases, the Commission gets either directly or indirectly dragged into these conflicts and court cases, which becomes diversionary. Indeed, some of the pre-election court cases have threatened in the past to derail preparations for elections”.
Professor Jega attributed the inability of the political parties to select candidates and to amicably resolve issues therefrom to the satisfaction of all their members to lack of internal party democracy resulting from lack of commitment to party rules.
The INEC Chairman had in his address outlined some of the measures that needed to be taken to overcome the challenges that undermined inter-party collaboration and co-operation in Nigeria. They include:
- The need to continue to improve the functioning of the Interparty Advisory Council (IPAC) to ensure full commitment of all parties to the Council and the Code of Conduct.
- The need to improve the funding profile of IPAC to enable it continue to play its role in growing our democracy and national stability.
- The need to continue to improve the organization of political parties with a view to modernizing them and making them core institutions of democratic development in Nigeria.
- The need to empower the Commission to determine the criteria for parties to get on the ballot as that would afford the political parties the space to continue to play cardinal roles in political development.
- The need to check rampant change of political parties by politicians. While the politicians have the right to choose at will what parties to belong to, the rampant change of parties hemorrhages party members and generates rancour.
Professor Jega argued that it was in the best enlightened interest of the Commission and the political parties to collaborate in order to achieve democratic stability and consolidation.
SOURCE: INEC bulletin