By Umar Salam.
Reacting to calls by Nigerians urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reduce the number of political parties in the country, the INEC Federal Commissioner in charge of Nasarawa, Kogi and Kwara States, Malam Muhammed Haruna, has revealed that the commission lacks the constitutional power to deregister any of the existing 91 political parties.
Malam Haruna made the disclosure in Lokoja today while declaring open a post-election review meeting on the last general elections.
He explained that a reduction in the number of registered parties could only be done through an amendment of the constitution, adding that the provisions in the 1999 Constitution that states that political parties must be national in outlook and have headquarters in Abuja had led to unexpected problems.
The INEC Commissioner stressed on a consensus among stakeholders in resolving the issue, reiterating that constitutional amendment was the only solution.
On the essence of the review meeting, he said it was “organised to identify success factors in the elections with a view to consolidating and sustaining them and to share knowledge among staff and key stakeholders.”