A few days after his Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) de-registered 28 political parties, Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega has stated that more parties are to follow.
But the commission is not slamming the door on those Nigerians desirous of registering more parties, as INEC would undertake such an exercise before the 2015 general elections.
Jega was answering questions from journalists yesterday after he presented the Commission's five-year Strategic Plan (2012-2016) at its Validation Conference with Stakeholders in Abuja.
Any new association that meets the Commission’s requirements will be registered as a political party, he said.
“We have taken the decision to de-register 28 parties and as far as we are concerned, we have acted legally. Of course, many political part chieftains especially of those de-registered were not happy and we understand that and some of them have gone to court.
He stressed that the commission awaits whatever judgment that will be rendered by the courts but that it believes the constitution and the Electoral Act have armed it with the responsibility to register and deregister any political party that falls short of meeting the requirement of the law.
“The commission acted in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by de-registering those 28 political parties, the same constitution gives the commission to register political parties and if there is a breach, such political parties will have to be de-registered, that was exactly what we did, and more will still go as we will also register new ones that meet the requirements for registration".
In the strategic framework waiting approvals by the stakeholders, INEC is asking for a constitutional framework for its electoral activities for five years, instead of ad-hoc planning that the commission has been known for in the past.