At least 120 applications have been received by the Independent National Electoral Commission, from political associations seeking registration as political parties.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in his keynote address during the induction retreat for resident electoral commissioners in Uyo on Friday, said the number of political parties would increase after the commission had processed outstanding applications.
He said, “The commission has received over 120 applications from political associations seeking registration as political parties. Already, there are 46 registered political parties and recently a court of law ordered the commission to register one more association as political party.
“Obviously by the time the commission processes outstanding applications, the number of political parties and independent candidates as contained in the proposed constitutional amendments awaiting the concurrence of state assemblies, will increase.”
The chairman said that 3,630,529 new voters had been registered in its continuous voter registration exercise.
He noted that the CVR is an important exercise, which he said would continue till 60 days to the 2019 general elections.
On card readers, Yakubu said that technical reports from recent elections indicated that the incidence of card readers malfunction had dropped, adding that in the last Anambra governorship election, there were reported cases of outright malfunction of card readers in 106 polling units and voting points.
He, however, assured Nigerians that the commission had been working hard to ensure 100 per cent performance of the card readers.
He added, “It is important for us to have an accurate idea of the possible locations of hot spots and peddlers of hate speech, discuss these with security agencies and examine ways to address them well before the election.”
The Akwa Ibom State resident electoral commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini, said the retreat would afford the newly appointed RECs and old ones the opportunities to share experiences.
Also, the Country Director, United Nations Development Programme, Dr. Samuel Bwaya, congratulated the new RECs for being called to serve their fatherland, urging them to uphold the virtues that qualified them for the job.
Bwalya, however, noted that despite the progress made so far in institutionalising credible elections, the country was still confronted with challenges in the electoral process, including hate speeches, violence, poor internal democracy among political parties, low level of accountability and transparency within political institutions, among others.
He said if unchecked, the challenges could derail the progress towards attaining long-lasting democratic governance.
Source: ( Punch Newspaper)