Nigeria does not need more than three political parties to guarantee a healthy competition, a public affairs analyst and University of Lagos lecturer, Adetokunbo Pearse, has said
Pearse spoke on Sunday in Lagos in reaction to the latest ruling of the Supreme Court’s affirming the power by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties in the country.
On May 7, the Supreme Court ruled that the deregistration of one of the 74 political parties by INEC in February 2020 was in line with constitutional provision.
The apex court made the pronouncement in a judgment to dismiss an appeal filed by the National Unity Party (NUP), one of the 74 political parties deregistered by INEC in February 2020.
The university teacher said if INEC followed strictly its rules and laws, many of the groups currently parading as political parties in the country would not have been registered.
“What is the purpose of all these political parties? Looking at it critically based on the criteria for registration of political parties, most of them do not qualify. Their presence, most times, scuttles the results of elections.
“Most of these political parties do not have secretariats. They only come to create confusion.
“We learnt this with the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP). We tried to evolve in 2019 elections. They are just there to create total confusion,” he said.
Pearse, who was the 2019 Governorship Candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Lagos, urged INEC and the Federal Government to stick to the law on registration of political parties and ensure that the nation followed developed democracies.
“For us to be focused, let us have two or three political parties, just as we have in the US and the UK. At least, we have to learn from developed democracies if we want to grow.
“We don’t need more than three political parties, so that people can know the difference between one ideology and the other.
“It is easier, healthier and more meaningful to compete that way than to have over 90 political parties on the ballot paper. That is the way democracy works,” Pearse said.
Meanwhile, NAN reports that the judgment delivered on May 7, was yet to be a total validation of the deregistration of all the 74 political parties announced in February 2020.
There were more appeals concerning 22 of the total 74 parties, still pending at the Supreme Court.
The 22 political parties defeated INEC at the Court of Appeal in Abuja. In a judgment delivered on August 10, 2020, the Court of Appeal ordered INEC to re-enlist the political parties.
INEC subsequently appealed against the judgment and the appeal by the commission is still pending before the apex court.
The Court of Appeal in the judgment being contested by the electoral body affirmed the commission’s power to deregister political parties.
It, however, ruled that INEC went about the deregistration of the 22 parties “in utmost contempt and disregard of the due process of law and the court.”
The 2019 general elections was contested by 91 registered political parties. (NAN)
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