Too Many Parties Created Logistics Problem…INEC

Too Many Parties Created Logistics Problem…INEC

…Reveals 799 Petitions Dog Courts Across the Country The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that the large number of political parties that participated in the 2019 general elections created a lot of logistics problem. Malam Mohammed Haruna, the National Commissioner in charge of Kwara, Kogi and Nasarawa States, said this on Saturday in

…Reveals 799 Petitions Dog Courts Across the Country

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that the large number of political parties that participated in the 2019 general elections created a lot of logistics problem.

Malam Mohammed Haruna, the National Commissioner in charge of Kwara, Kogi and Nasarawa States, said this on Saturday in Ilorin while speaking at a workshop organised to review the 2019 general elections.

According to the National Commissioner, there were 799 litigations from the 2019 general elections across the country.

He said that Jigawa had no petition from the election, Kwara had only three petitions while Imo topped the list with 77 petitions.

Haruna said that there were over 800 pre-election cases across the country that arose from political parties’ primary elections.

“So you can see that with these kinds of problems we had, there is really a need to look at the number of political parties.

“We really need to do something about the 91 political parties, not just the quantity which generally speaking the public have begun to complain that 91 political parties are on the high side,” he added.

He noted that 73 political parties contested for the Presidential election, adding that this was the source of the serious logistics problem that the Commission had.

“We underestimated the kind of logistical problem that implied the size of the ballot papers, result sheets and so on.

“By the time these materials started arriving, we realise that it was a huge logistical problem.

“We are lucky, we had the Nigerian Air Force to help with the movement of the materials, they have always been helping us,” Haruna said.

The commissioner said the Electoral Act and the Constitution have to be reviewed to curb the increasing number of political parties.

According to him, the Constitution and the Electoral Act made it easy for anybody to register a political party once the person has an office in Abuja and its executive officers that reflected the Federal Character.

Haruna said that the workshop was to review the 2019 general election to see what went wrong, and how to make sure that similar mistakes are not repeated in future elections.

He said the review would help the commission to do better during off-season elections coming up in Bayelsa and Kogi later in the year.

In his remark, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara, Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami, said the workshop was mainly to review the activities of the last election and proffer solutions to identified lapses.

Madami, who was represented by the Administrative Secretary, Mr Martins Borris Chiroma, advised participants to contribute meaningfully to the sessions.

“We want to receive inputs from you that will help INEC to overcome challenges identified during the last general elections,” he said.

Tthe workshop was attended by Electoral Officers, Assistant Electoral Officers (AEO) in charge of Operations and RAC from the 16 local government areas of the state.

The Presiding/Returning/Collation officers that took part in the 2019 elections in the state also attended the workshop.

In a related development, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has restated the Commission’s determination to reform the country’s electoral process.

Yakubu, who spoke in Abuja at the weekend, said that steps for the reform of electoral processes were already ongoing ahead of the 2023 polls.

Besides, the INEC boss said various recommendations, including that of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) in the 2019 polls, would form major inputs in the areas of reform.

Yakubu, who spoke at a meeting with the Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission, Maria Arena, noted that a report will be submitted to the newly inaugurated 9th National Assembly at the end of its review of last general elections.

He said: “Every election in any democracy around the world is work in progress. We, therefore, look forward to the full EU EOM report and recommendations on the elections.

“We are confident that there will be useful lessons for the Commission as we prepare for future elections.

“Indeed, the report is coming at the right time as it will feed into our ongoing review of the conduct of the elections.

“Let me assure you that the Commission will again quickly focus attention on the electoral legal framework in addition to several other areas of reform.

“We will study in detail all your recommendations as part of our ongoing internal review of the 2019 general elections which we hope to conclude in the next two months.

“Immediately thereafter, we shall engage with the leadership of the 9th National Assembly on areas that require legislation while implementing aspects of the reform within the powers of the Commission in full consultation with stakeholders.

“There is so much work to do but little time ahead of us.

“The EU has been part of Nigeria’s steady progress towards democratic consolidation since 1999.

“The observations and recommendations of the EU Election Observation Mission to the 2015 general elections were particularly useful not only in the design of some important proposals for reforming the electoral legal framework, but also in improving our electoral processes and procedures.

“One of the key recommendations was that we merge the accreditation and voting processes on election day, which was subsequently implemented during the Bayelsa governorship election of December 2015 and in all subsequent elections.

“The implementation of some of the other recommendations went a long way in enhancing our organisational and operational planning and strengthening our engagement with stakeholders.”

The EU observation mission is expected to officially release the report and recommendations arising from the 2019 general elections on Saturday in Abuja.

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