INEC

2023 ELECTIONS: INEC Excludes 124 Parties from Participation

No fewer than 124 Political Groups that applied for Registration as Political Parties have been technically excluded from participating in the 2023 General Elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

This, by implication, means that only the 18 parties that survived the Commission’s last deregistration in 2020 will participate in the forthcoming elections.

It was reported on December 26, 2021, that 101 political associations had applied to the Commission for registration.

Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, confirmed the development in December, but noted that the Commission could not reveal the names of the associations because they had not been approved as Political Parties.

An INEC Interim report showed that as of March 25, 2022, no fewer than 124 applications were received by the Commission.

When asked if INEC would still register new political parties before the 2023 Elections, Oyekanmi said that the final decision on whether or not to register a new political party before the elections rested exclusively with the commission, a system he said he would not pre-empt.

He said, “The submission of an application by an association or group for registration as a political party is the starting point of an elaborate and rigorous process. It, therefore, takes time and a lot of effort from when an application is submitted to the day the certificate of registration is given.

“Section 75 of the Electoral Act, 2022 says any political association that complies with the provisions of the constitution and the Act for the purposes of registration shall be registered as a political party provided, however, that such an application for registration shall be duly submitted to the commission not later than 12 months before a general election.”

The 2023 General Elections Project Plan launched by INEC last month also projects 18 political parties for next year’s elections.

With June 3, 2022, as INEC’s deadline for political parties to conclude their primaries, it seems clear that no new party will be able to participate in the general elections.

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