Orji Uzor Kalu
By Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Barring any last minute legal battle to save their deregistration, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will commence the deregistration of more than 55 political parties, including Orji Uzor Kalu’s Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) that failed to win at least a seat in the state House of Assembly elections.
There are 63 registered political parties, but only eight of them were able to win at least a seat in the election.
In the general election, only 18 political parties fielded presidential candidates and 23 fielded governorship candidates across the states of the federation.
According to the 2011 Electoral Act as amended, section 78 (1) (7) (2), “the commission shall have power to deregister political parties on the following grounds: For failure to win presidential, governorship election or a seat in the National or State Assembly election.”
From INEC records, the following political parties were able to win at least one state House of Assembly seat: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Accord Party, Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), Labour Party (LP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) and Peoples Democratic Congress (PDC).
Of the registered political parties, 30 of them took part in the elections that ended with the governorship and state Assembly elections, while others did not field candidates at all, while the rest were complacent unlike in the previous general election.
The amended Electoral Act gives INEC power to deregister any political party that did not win a single seat at the state House of Assembly election.
PDP, as the leading political party, has spread in all the six geo-political zones at both the National Assembly and the Houses of Assembly including the South-west, while the ACN won mainly in the South-west and a few places outside the zone.
LP has its representations both at the National and State Assembly in Ondo State, while ANPP won in Zamfara, Borno and Yobe States. The CPC won six senatorial seats in Katsina, Kano and in Nasarawa State, where it won the governorship.
APGA won a senatorial seat in Imo State and other state House of Assembly seats in some states. Accord Party won a senatorial seat in Oyo State and also some House of Representatives seats in some states, including Delta State where it won the Ika North House of Representatives seat.
PPN redeemed its name with some seats in the state House of Assembly election in Ogun State.
Some of the parties that would be visited by the INEC hammer for not winning a single seat in the state House of Assembly election include the Musa Balarabe-led People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Kalu’s PPA, Nigerian Democratic Party (NDP) and Dr. Olusola Saraki’s Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN).
At the inception of democratic election in 1998, only three political parties were registered. They are the PDP, the All Peoples Party (APP) that later transformed to the ANPP and Alliance for Democracy (AD), but with a Supreme Court ruling, it opened the flood gate for the registration of more political parties, bringing the number today to 63.
An INEC National Commissioner told THISDAY that the commission was still compiling data of the April elections and would soon commence action on the political parties that failed to meet up with the letter of the Electoral Act as amended.
“We are right on course and when we get to this bridge, full course of the law will take its position as spelt out in the Electoral Act as amend,” the INEC Commissioner said.