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Parties’ internal democracy will solve electoral challenges – INEC

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By Stanley Nwanosike

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), proper internal democratic practice between political parties will solve 80 percent of the electoral challenges in the country.

INEC’s Resident Election Commissioner (REC) in Enugu State, Dr Emeka Ononamadu, said this in a welcoming speech at the opening of a workshop in Enugu on Wednesday.

The workshop focuses on “the capacity building workshop on management and administration of political parties and party auditing”.

Workshop participants include heads of the Election and Party Monitoring (EPM) department of INEC state offices in the country’s 17 southern states.

Ononamadu said the workshop was essential for ongoing reforms within INEC, especially for political parties, to always comply with the electoral law guiding all stakeholders involved in the elections.

According to him, a bad internal democracy within the parties, most of the time, makes snowballs beyond the internal quarrels but affects the outside society and the whole electoral process.

“With a good intern, there will be less disagreement during the elections.

“Those who win or lose in a well-organized internal primary, according to electoral law, will agree that the process is fair and credible.

“And there will be less disagreement over the outcome.

“However, in a situation where internal democracy is lacking, there will be internal party disagreements or quarrels would start to affect the whole system.

“There will be chaos and violence from different groups who feel cheated or denied within the political party.

“The violence will result in a low voter turnout, and during the post-election period there will be electoral prosecutions and electoral counter-prosecutions from the same political party,” Ononamadu said.

The CER noted that there was a need for the agents of the EPM department to be proactive; start monitoring and guiding political parties in accordance with the electoral law in time during the pre-election period.

“Political parties must have good management and administration of its affairs as well as a good audit of its events and resources, including finances, so that they have fewer problems and are stable. ”

Also speaking, deputy director of EPM department in Abuja, Mr. Shehu Wahab, said the workshop was aimed at preparing participants for the task ahead.

It also meant ensuring that political parties were successful from the start.

Wahab also thanked the European Electoral Support Center (ECES) for its support to INEC to facilitate the workshop “which is supposed to drive the wheel of electoral system reform”.

In a goodwill message, the deputy coordinator of the ECES project, Mr. Wilson Manji, said that the center had been at the forefront of supporting INEC to get the electoral process right and generate free elections, fair and credible.

Manji stressed the need for the EPM department to keep political parties in compliance with the electoral law.

“The workshop will ultimately awaken them to their responsibility and guide them on how to discharge their responsibility more effectively.

“This will eventually verify the internal factions of political parties and encourage them to comply with the electoral law,” he added. (NOPE)

(NAN)

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