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Published On: Mon, Dec 8th, 2014

2015: INEC can’t enforce laws – Jega

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INEC-Attahiru-JegaBy Ahmed Abubakar

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has lamented over the incapacitation of the electoral body, to enforce laws on politicians that derail.

Jega, who explained that it is sad that INEC is always helpless in enforcing the rule that authentic candidates who emerged at the primaries must be the ones to make it.

Speaking while delivering a keynote address at INEC-Traditional Rulers National Summit on Peaceful Elections in Abuja yesterday, the chairman submitted that the inability of the National Assembly to conclude work on the amendment of the Electoral Act, created a lacuna that the political parties are exploiting, which is actually a constraint to the commission.

According to the INEC boss: “Drawing from our experiences in the 2011 elections and other elections conducted since then, we have submitted recommendations for improvements to the legal framework, especially the Electoral Act and the Constitution, to the National Assembly.

“We submitted these recommendations about two years ago and the National Assembly has gone very far and has gotten to the stage called reconciliation.

“We regret that it has taken time, but we are still hopeful that the legal framework will be amended before the 2015 election because it will help us to improve on many areas of discrepancies. I crave your indulgence to give one example regarding the political party primaries and nominations of candidates,” Jega said.

He also expressed concern on the attitude of politicians, warning that the conduct of many critical stakeholders in the political arena is capable of generating, inciting conflicts and violence, which might pose serious threat to the 2015 general election.

Speaking further, the election umpire faulted the legal provision that allows parties submit to INEC, names of candidates who did not even contest party primaries, even as he assured that the Commission is very much ready for the 2015 general elections.

Enumerating the challenges and tasks ahead of the Commission, Professor Jega noted: “We are confident that the prospects of having good election in 2015 are very bright. We harbour no illusion that our preparations are perfect, but we will spare no effort to ensure that as far as INEC is concerned, we are operationally prepared to deliver better elections in 2015 than what we had with the 2011 election.”

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