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Don’t Undermine 2015, Jega Warns Political Parties

Disturbed by the antics of political parties, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Tuesday expressed concern that the 2015 election could be undermined.

The apex electoral commissioner charged political parties to stop the wanton cases of thuggery and disruptions evident in recent elections.

Jega who stated this during the third quarterly meeting between INEC and political parties in Abuja, further told the political parties to stop overheating the polity warning further that parties must stop engaging in political campaigns outside the constitutionally approved time of 90 days before polling day and 24 hours to polling day.

A worried Jega said “we urge you to do everything possible to sanitize the polity. You must have an enlightened self-interest, because deepening and sustaining our democracy in the best interest of all politicians, as it is for all citizens.

“You must stop overheating the polity. You must continue to promote peaceful conduct and civility in political engagements and electioneering. And you must stop the rising tendency towards thuggery in campaigns and elections. In recent bye-elections we saw disruptions of the electoral process caused by thuggery; this must be stopped in order not to undermine our aspirations for credible and peaceful elections in 2015.”

Jega urged the political parties to “facilitate liaison work of the commission at local government and state levels newly registered political parties are particularly urged to provide the commission with the list of Interim Executive Committees as States and LGA levels respectively; while all political parties with expired State and LG executive committees should appoint interim executives and conduct congresses as appropriate.”

He urged political parties to restrict their quest for elective offices to areas they have institutional presence, pointing out that the commission has been receiving petitions against political parties that lack any presence in some states but habitually present candidates whenever Bye-Elections are scheduled.

He further encouraged political parties to establish and make available to the commission their official addresses to facilitate communication on issues that are urgent saying personal e-mails addresses are not allowed.

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