INEC’S bloated ballot paper

Voters during election

Sir: Nigeria’s political space is occupied by not less than 60 political parties which all seem to have the compulsion to present candidates for all elections including the presidential elections.

This has led to the continuous enlargement of ballot papers and the corollary of increased cost of conducting elections.

This is particularly aggravating because come election time 80% of the political parties do not register up to a thousand votes in a general election.

The electoral process is a very important element of the democratic system, it involves serious mobilisation of the electorate and resources and should not be trivialised.

There are simply too many political parties, some of which seem to be created simply for some persons to call themselves party chairman.

The Electoral Act should be amended to make party registration more stringent.

For instance, for a political association to be registered as a party it must have at least five thousand registered voters as its members, evidenced by copies of their permanent voters card in their members’ register.

Furthermore, after registration any party that presents a candidate at a general election must score not less than 5,000 votes.

Any party that fails this condition should be automatically de-registered.

This will ensure that only serious political parties with the intention and ability to mobilise voters to participate in the electoral process are registered.

No more should we have political parties that can only garner 11 or 15 votes at a gubernatorial or presidential election.

If a party cannot mobilise at least 5,000 people to vote for it, such a party does not deserve to exist.

John Obi wrote from Abuja.

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