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Nigeria’s Electoral Commission Meets Political Parties Tuesday

  • Peter Clottey

Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) officials lead a rally calling for the removal of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Maurice Iwu (File photo - 21 March 2010)

An official with Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) told VOA the electoral body will meet all participating political parties in next year’s general elections Tuesday.

Nick Dazan, assistant director of public affairs, said the INEC expects the political parties to register their concerns and try to resolve them ahead of next year’s general elections.

“(INEC) resolved that there was the need for it to engage stakeholders in the electoral process with a view to finding out avenues of extending time for the voter registration and (the) 2011 general election. These are the issues that are likely to come up this (Tuesday) morning in a consultative meeting with the 64 registered political parties in Nigeria.”

The electoral commission has said it needs more time to adequately prepare for the scheduled 22nd January presidential election, one of three elections that month.

Nigerians are expected to vote in January for the National Assembly, president and governorships and state assemblies. The INEC said it needed more time to register eligible voters to complete a voter registration list that will be used for the elections.

“It (INEC) will brief them (parties) about the concerns it is facing in respect of the timetable that was recently issued out. And, it will crave their indulgence to appreciate the need for an extension of time in order to allow the commission to do a very good job.”

The electoral body has so far scheduled 1st November to begin a two-week registration exercise ahead of the vote.

Dazan said the electoral body wants to have a better working relationship with all the political parties in preparation towards a credible vote next year.

“Before now, the commission has always insisted that it is poised to deliver elections that are qualitatively better than previous ones, but that it faces time constraints. But, it has also to work within the provisions of the constitution as amended, and the 2010 Electoral Act.”