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HomeArticleINEC has Constitutional Powers to De-register 74 Political Parties

INEC has Constitutional Powers to De-register 74 Political Parties

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By Elo Adhekpukoli

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has received criticisms for the recent deregistration of 74 political parties in Nigeria.

Some of the critics have argued that the action taken by INEC violates the right to freedom of association as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended.

It is important to note that the 8th National Assembly enacted the Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Act No. 9 in 2018 wherein a new Section 225A was inserted into the Constitution empowering INEC to de-register any political party that fails to win:

* At least 25% votes in at least one State of the Federation in a Presidential election, or
* At least 20% votes in at least one Local Government of a State in a Governorship election
* At least one ward in a Local Government Chairmanship election
* At least one seat in the National or State House of Assembly election
* At least one seat in a Councillorship election.

The 74 political parties did not meet any of the above constitutional requirements.

What INEC has done is constitutional and in the best interest of our Nation. It will reduce the cost of conducting elections. There’s no need to retain such a huge number of unpopular political parties on the ballot paper, which sometimes causes delay and confusion for voters during elections.

Elo Adhekpukoli, Coordinator, Law Reform Think-Tank

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