By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has deregistered seventy-four (74) out of the ninety-two (92) registered political parties in the country over poor performance in the last general elections, secondand for not satisfying the requirements of the Fourth Alteration to the 1999 Constitution.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, who disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja yesterday, equally announced the dates for the conduct of governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.
While the governorship election in Edo State has been fixed for Saturday 19th September, this year, that of Ondo State will take place on Saturday 10th October this year.
With the de-registration of the seventy-four political parties, the country is now left with eighteen registered political parties.
The deregistered parties are; AAP – Advanced Allied Party, ABP – All Blending Party, ACD- Advanced Congress Of Democrats, ACPN – Allied Congress Party Of Nigeria, AD – Alliance For Democracy, AGA – All Grassroots Alliance, AGAP – All Grand Alliance Party, ANDP – Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party, ANN – Alliance For New Nigeria, ANP – Alliance National Party, ANRP – Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party, APA – African People Alliance, APDA – Advanced People’s Democratic Alliance, APN – Alternative Party Of Nigeria and ASD – Alliance Of Social Democrats
Others are: AUN – Alliance For A United Nigeria, BNPP – Better Nigeria Progressive Party, CAP – Change Advocacy Party, CC – Coalition For Change, CNP – Change Nigeria Party, COP – Congress Of Patriots, DA – Democratic Alternative. DPC – Democratic People’s Congress, DPP – Democratic People’s Party, FDP – Fresh Democratic Party, FJP – Freedom And Justice Party, GDPN – Grassroots Development Party Of Nigeria, GPN – Green Party Of Nigeria, HDP – Hope Democratic Party, ID – Independent Democrats, JMPP – Justice Must Prevail Party, KP – Kowa Party, LM – Liberation Movement, LPN – Legacy Party Of Nigeria, MAJA – Mass Action Joint Alliance, MDP – Modern Democratic Party, MMN – Masses Movement Of Nigeria, MPN – Mega Party Of Nigeria, MRDD – Movement For The Restoration And Defence Of Democracy and NAC – National Action Council.
Also deregistered are: NCMP – Nigeria Community Movement Party, NCP – National Conscience Party, NDCP – Nigeria Democratic Congress Party, NDLP – National Democratic Liberty Party, NEPP – Nigeria Elements Progressive Party, NFD – Nigeria For Democracy, NGP – New Generation Party Of Nigeria, NIP – National Interest Party, NPC – Nigeria People’s Congress, NPM – New Progressive Movement, NUP – National Unity Party, PCP – People’s Coalition Party, PDC – People For Democratic Change, PDM – People’s Democratic Movement, PPA – Progressive People’s Alliance, PPC – Providence People’s Congress, PPN – People’s Party Of Nigeria, PPP – People’s Progressive Party, PT – People’s Trust, RAP – Reform And Advancement Party, RBNP – Re-Build Nigeria Party, RP – Restoration Party Of Nigeria, SNC – Save Nigeria Congress, SNP – Sustainable National Party, SPN – Socialist Party Of Nigeria, UDP – United Democratic Party, UP – United Patriots, UPC – United People’s Congress, UPN – Unity Party Of Nigeria, UPP – United Progressive Party, WTPN – We The People Nigeria, YDP – Young Democratic Party, YES – Electorates Solidarity and YP – Youth Party
The INEC Chairman, while stating that the Commission has the power to deregister the parties, explained that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) vests in INEC the power to register and regulate the activities of political parties.
He recalled that in 2018, the Constitution was amended; noting that in addition to the extant provision for the registration of political parties, the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution (Section 225A) empowered INEC to deregister political parties.
Yakubu said in order to implement the provision of the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution, the Commission carried out an assessment of political parties to determine compliance with the requirements for their registration.
According to the INEC Chairman, “You will recall that prior to the 2019 general election, Nigeria had 91 political parties. One more party was registered by court order after the election, making a total of 92 political parties.
“The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) vests in INEC the power to register and regulate the activities of political parties.
“You will also recall that in 2018, the Constitution was amended. In addition to the extant provision for the registration of political parties, the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution (Section 225A) empowers the Commission to deregister political parties.
“Prior to the Fourth Alteration, the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) had provided for the deregistration of political parties.
“Based on this provision, the Commission, between 2011 and 2013, deregistered 39 political parties. “However, several of the parties challenged the power of INEC to deregister them, particularly on the ground that the Electoral Act is inferior to the Constitution and that deregistration infringed their fundamental rights under the same Constitution.
“Subsequently, the courts ordered the Commission to reinstate the parties. It was for this reason that the National Assembly amended the Constitution to empower the Commission to deregister political parties on the following grounds:
*Breach of any of the requirements for registration as a political party.
*Failure to win at least 25% of the votes cast in one State of the Federation in a Presidential election or 25% of the votes cast in one Local Government Area of a State in a Governorship election.
*Failure to win at least one ward in a Chairmanship election, one seat in the National or State Assembly election or one seat in a Councillorship election.
Continuing, he said, “In order to implement the provision of the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution, the Commission carried out an assessment of political parties to determine compliance with the requirements for their registration.
“Similarly, following the conclusion of the 2019 general election, including court-ordered re-run elections arising from litigations, the Commission was able to determine the performance of political parties in the elections.
“In addition, they were also assessed on the basis of their performance in the Area Council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which coincided with the 2019 general election.
“It should be noted that the FCT is the only part of the country where INEC is empowered by the Constitution to conduct Local Government elections.
“Accordingly, 74 political parties are hereby deregistered. With this development, Nigeria now has 18 registered political parties”, he said.
The political parties that scaled through are Accord Party (A), Action Alliance (AA), African Action Congress (AAC), African Democratic Congress (ADC), African Democratic Party (ADP), All Progressives Congress (APC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Allied Peoples Movement (APM)
Other parties which also met the requirement are Labour Party (LP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), National Rescue Movement (NRM), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Young Progressive Party (YPP) and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).