The Chairman, Election Monitoring, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mr. Ishmael Igbani, said too many political parties are unhealthy for elections in Nigeria. He said this on Sunday in Abuja that, ``for election purposes we don’t need too many political parties’’.
"Even though having too many political parties is not a crime, but all of them cannot be participating in one election. Looking at the ballot with over 65 candidates having their names on a ballot paper would be confusing to the electorate and the worst scenario is when there is more than one election in a day, it becomes more confusing.’’
Igbani suggested that ``for a healthy outing all politicians should come together and set criteria for names to being on the ballot papers. He said it was time for politicians to stop tying their existence to elections, rather they should focus more on issues. "The smaller parties instead of fighting for a place on the ballot papers, they can exploit various avenues with focus on different areas that include gender, environment, health, social issues and other areas of development.
He said it was not necessary for all political parties to contest elections rather they should pursue issues.
Igbani said `` even though having too many political parties is not a crime, that is not a criteria for the field to become junk yard and ground for all comers. He said de-registration exercise by INEC was in accordance to the law, because the Electoral Act 2010 as amended states that “any political party which contests elections and does not win any electoral seat shall be deregistered.”
"Our constitution allows for a multi-party system but INEC has the power to deregister parties and it has started and it is a continuous process as the commission will continue to de-register parties that do not meet requirements.
Igbani reiterated that ``there are some conditions that must be met for any parties to operate as a political party and if you don’t meet them you become de-registered.