INEC Receives New Applications For Over 103 Political Parties

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Ahead of the 2019 General Elections, the Independent National Electoral Commis­sion (INEC) has received applica­tions from another 103 political as­sociations for registration as political parties.

A fortnight ago, INEC regis­tered five new political parties – the Advanced Peoples’ Democratic Al­liance (APDA), Young Progressive Party (YPP), Action Democratic Party (ADP), New Generation Party (NGP), and All Progressives Demo­cratic Movement (APDM).

INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, hinted of the fresh applications when he received the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway, Mr Jens Petter Kjemprud, in his office in Abuja on Tuesday.

Yakubu said that INEC will con­duct the 2019 election which will be adjudged more credible than what it did in 2015.

He disclosed that the Commis­sion has a total of 70million Nigeri­ans in its voters’ register, adding that about 1,040,000 citizens had so far registered since the commencement of the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise.

Yakubu said: “We now have 45 political parties. We had 40 political parties before but five have just been registered while there are 103 pend­ing applications. We don’t know how many more we are going to register but we are a multi-party democra­cy and all associations that meet the criteria for registration will be regis­tered.”

Ambassador Kjemprud com­mended INEC and Nigerians for the successful conduct of the 2015 General Elections. He also lauded the Commission for the steps it had taken after the election to improve on the electoral process.

He promised that Norway will do everything it can to assist INEC to deliver on its mandate.

Kjemprud invited Yakubu and his team to observe the Norwegian Parliamentary Elections and under­take a study tour of his country between September 6 and 13, 2017.

Meanwhile, 15 political parties have formed what they described as a ‘mega coalition’ to wrestle pow­er from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The coalition, which was launched after a meeting of the par­ties in Abuja, said it will agree and adopt consensus candidates at both governorship and presidential elec­tions in Nigeria.

It noted that the mega coalition is not a merger, but an electoral alli­ance for participating political parties which are free to field separate can­didates for councillorship, local gov­ernment chairmanship, Houses of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senatorial candidates of their party, but shall collaborate at the gu­bernatorial and presidential elections.

The group, which named the National Chairman of the National Unity Party (NUP), Chief Perry Opa­ra, as its Chancellor, said that it would collaborate to ensure that its adopt­ed candidates win the governorship elections in the country, beginning with the November 18, 2017 election in Anambra State where it has consti­tuted a committee to pick a consen­sus candidate.

Some of the political parties that formed the coalition are the National Unity Party (NUP), Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP) and BNPP, Democratic Peoples’ Con­gress (DPC) and others.

On the motive for the coalition, Opara stated that it was to ensure that a credible candidate is picked to drive home the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.

Opara noted that the consen­sus candidate from the Coalition of Political Parties will form a govern­ment that will embrace all, adding that the winning party shall form a Government of State Unity (GSU) at the state level while at the Presiden­tial Election, the winning party shall form a Government of National Uni­ty (GNU) with a view to accommo­dating all the participating parties in the coalition.

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