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We only recognise 18 political parties, says INEC

We only recognise 18 political parties, says INEC 

THE Independent National Electoral Commission, has with Friday’s Supreme Court judgement, Nigeria now has only 18 duly registered political parties.

INEC’s Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Nick Danzang, said this while featuring on a Channels Television current affairs programme, “Politics Today,” on Monday.

When asked how many parties were now left in the books of INEC, Danzang said, “As we speak now, we have 18 registered political parties.

“Before the conduct of the 2019 general elections, we had 73 parties that fielded candidates. And in the aftermath of the conduct of the 2019 general elections, and as it is expected by us, by law, whatever a general election is conducted, INEC does an assessment of the performance of the political parties.

“And where the parties are found wanting, for example if they are not able to win any seat at all in the elections, then INEC had the right by law to deregister them.”

Chairman of the Young Democratic Party, Georgina Dakpokpo, who also featured on the programme, however, faulted INEC on the deregistration and its interpretation of the Supreme Court judgment.

Dakpokpo recalled that 50 of the 74 deregistered parties sought redress at the Federal High Court, while only 22 of the approached the Court of Appeal to seek nullification of the judgment by the lower court.

She said, “We will still continue to function as political parties because by the decision of the Court of Appeal, we are still political parties.

“We will continue to operate as political parties pending the final decision of the Supreme Court on INEC’s appeal before them. As of today, we are still very well, legally registered political parties in Nigeria.”

The Supreme Court had on Friday upheld INEC’s deregistration of the NUP, one of the political parties deregistered in 2020 for failing to win any position in the 2019 general elections.

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