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Jega decries lack of democracy in parties

INDEPENDENT National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega has said that the lack of internal democracy in most political parties was posing a serious concern to the commission. He stated this in Abuja yesterday at the News Agency of Nigeria Forum, adding that lack of internal party democracy had been noticed in most political parties.
“Our worry in the commission is that it does not appear as if our politicians and the political parties are learning the lessons that we ought to have learnt from our past mistakes and past errors, unfortunately these are being repeated.”
“Internal party democracy is very important in our democratisation process and in ensuring that there is a credible electoral process in place but from what we are seeing, there is a serious concern.”
“Many parties do not take the issue of internal party democracy with the seriousness it deserves.”
“We are hearing complaints about lack of following due process and we have sent monitors because we are entitled to monitor party congresses, we have been monitoring and there are a number of cases that we have heard,’’ Jega said.
He, however, pleaded with political party leaders and their members to pay attention to the requirements in the constitution of their parties and to play according to the law while ensuring internal party democracy.
He further said that the commission had no problem with the 63 registered political parties in the country as it was doing everything possible to ensure enough materials for them for the April elections.
He said the commission had taken delivery of a substantial number of the Direct Data Capture (DDC) machine it purchased, adding that the machines would be used to train ad-hoc staff that would be used for the April elections.
“About 70 per cent of the DDC machine had been delivered and we are going to use it to train ad-hoc staff that would be recruited from the NYSC to work during the election period,’’ Jega said.
Meanwhile, Jega has given the assurance that the country’s Electoral Institute in Abuja will be repositioned to serve the continent in areas of training, documentation and research. He said the commission was determined to re-examine the functions, roles and structure of the institute and reposition it properly for it to be an excellent training, documentation and research institute.
The institute, he added, would “not just to serve our purpose as INEC in Nigeria but would also to be useful for all electoral commissions in the West Africa sub-region and the entire African continent. He added that the institute had over the years assisted INEC in terms of documentation, training and research.
According to him, the institute has been collaborating with other institutes and universities to provide training for electoral officials.“It has been doing so many things but there is room for improvement on what they are doing and that is what we are focusing on now,’’ he said

-New Nigerian

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Posted by on Jan 10 2011. Filed under Party Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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