INEC: Electoral Reform Should Start from Political Parties

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Adedayo Akinwale and Theresa Adeke in Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said the electoral reform needed to sanitise the country’s electoral system should begin from political parties.

INEC National Commissioner, Mohammed Haruna, stated this thursday in Abuja at a stakeholders’ roundtable on post-2019 general election review with the theme: ‘Towards Electoral Reforms in Nigeria’, organised by the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA).

He said if the country really wants the needed reform in the electoral system, the political parties must conduct free, fair and transparent primaries.

According to him, “For me, primary election of political parties is probably the beginning if we want to reform our electoral system. Political parties must conduct free and fair primaries. That is where the electoral process should start from.”

Earlier, the Executive Director of CTA, Faith Nwadishi, noted that the 2019 elections have come and ended, but critical stakeholders must continue to review, appraise the outcomes, mistakes made, the successes, lessons learnt and of course, rejig the processor in the forthcoming elections, adding that the 2023 elections are about 1,199 days away.

She stated: “Political class being the overall beneficiaries of the electoral process should actually be the one at the forefront of making our elections better.

“So, when you have the political class who cannot hold good party primaries, who cannot hold themselves accountable for the rule, the constitution or there laws that they have created for themselves, it becomes a huge problem in the outcome of any election.

“Prior to the election, we were concerned about the kind of language and mistrust among themselves within their party. So we came up with our report and commended INEC for the work that it had done in the elections.”