INEC Should Leave Only Five Political Parties, Don Advises
POLITICS DIGEST – Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been advised to further reduce the number of political parties in the country to only five, Dr Kayode Esuola, a political scientist has said.
He was reacting to the recent deregistration of 74 political parties by the electoral body.
Esuola, who lectures at the University of Lagos said though the electoral body is correct administratively, the action however puts the idea of multiparty democracy “at risk.”
He advocated that the parties should be streamlined to five while others should be encouraged to align with them.
The university don said the five parties to be identified must have clear-cut ideologies and be different from the present political parties without clear-cut ideologies.
“Well, administratively it is correct, but it raises a fundamental question about the idea of multiparty democracy,” Esuola said, adding that the de-listing also “makes mess of time and other resources when countries spend two weeks counting votes due to a long list of parties.”
“This is more so in Nigeria where election time is war, and people have to deploy all security means to be able to vote. How can you account for a 3-day vote count assignment for a university professor, for instance? All these are reasons that administratively justify INEC’s cut down on the parties,” he said.
“Multi-party democracy allows for free flow of ideologies and affiliations in political participation and also allows people and groups to test the popularity of what they believe. Nigeria needs these more than ever because her political parties have over the years been accused of not having ideologies – and ideologies cannot come if multiparty system is discouraged.
“What can be done for better administration on the part of INEC is identify some parties, say five, as main ones, encourage them to come out with clear ideologies and structure every other minor party to align with any of the five. This is how we can make sense of the list pruning,” the don said.