By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The United Peoples Party (UPP) has commended the National Assembly for amending the Section 25 of the 2010 Electoral Act to make the Presidential election to come last, saying the democratic implication cannot be overemphasized.
In a statement issued by the chairman of the party, Chekwas Okorie, UPP said over the years political parties especially those in opposition have persistently canvassed for the present order that is being proposed.
“Each time the Electoral Act was subjected to amendment, political parties always seized the opportunity to demand for this type of amendment. It is common knowledge that any party that won the presidential election since the commencement of the present democratic dispensation in 1999 always benefited from the bandwagon effect of winning overwhelmingly in subsequent elections”, the party said in the statement.
He observed that in all cases, such party ended up dominating the National Assembly, majority of the States and the State Assemblies in Nigeria, adding that in this way, the opposition political parties are weakened to the extent that the State Assemblies and National Assembly never developed outside the whims and caprices of the ruling political party and its executive arm.
He further observed that by this practice, the Legislature became more rubber stamp of the Executive arm of Government.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with its overwhelming majority turned down several demands for the reordering of the elections schedule”, the party said, adding that the internal destabilization of the APC which has paved the way for the successful review of the Order of Elections especially now that most of the legislators are uncertain of being renominated by the ruling party following their face-off with both the presidency and their party leadership.
“If this is what it will take for political parties to win election on the merit and popularity of their candidates then our democracy and the Nigerian people are the major beneficiaries. We are satisfied that INEC has given an early assurance that it will comply with the provisions of the law provided that the period specified by the Constitution of Nigeria for such amendments to be completed, is met”, the statement added.