Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said it had approved the registration of 23 new political parties, bringing the number of political parties to 91.
The commission said it received a total of 144 applications from political associations seeking registration as political parties.
The National Commissioner and Member, Voter Education and Publicity Committee, Malam Mohammed Haruna, in a statement in Abuja, said the commission had extended the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) exercise by two weeks.
According to him, “At its regular meeting today, Tuesday, August 14, 2018, INEC took a number of decisions; the commission approved the registration of 23 new political parties. It had received a total of 144 applications from political associations seeking registration as political parties.”
Haruna stressed that the decision was taken after a rigorous process of evaluation in accordance with the Constitution and Electoral Act, which included assessment of the constitutions and manifestos of the intending parties and verification of membership of their executive committees and offices.
He noted that the 23 associations met all the requirements and have been registered as political parties.
Haruna stated, “This brings the number of political parties to 91 and will be the last round of registration of parties until after the general elections on February 16, 2019. This suspension is in line with Section 78 (1) of the Electoral Act, which requires all applications for registration as political party to be concluded latest six months to a general election.”
He added that the newly registered political parties would receive their Certificates of Registration from the commission on Thursday, August 16, 2018 at the commission’s headquarters.
Haruna stressed that the commission has registered over 12 million new voters in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) across the country.
He, however, said that the commission has decided to extend the CVR to August 31, 2018, stressing that exercise would continue in all the designated registration centres every day, including weekends, but excluding public holidays, between 9a.m. and 5p.m.