Less than two years after the Independent National Electoral Commission deregistered 74 political parties due to their poor performance in the 2019 general elections, the commission says no fewer than 107 groups have approached it for registration as political parties.
Responding to a Freedom of Information request sent, the Deputy Director, SERVICOM at INEC, Olayide Okuonghae, said between 2019 and December 14, 2021, about 101 political associations had applied for registration.
The letter read in part, “In reference to your letter dated December 9, 2021, the commission wishes to inform you that from 2019 to December 14, 2021, a total of 101 political associations have forwarded their letters of intent to be registered as political parties.”
Also confirming the development, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said in an interview with one of our correspondents that INEC could not reveal the names of the associations because they had not been approved as political parties.
He said, “So far, a total of 101 associations have submitted their letters of intent to be registered as political parties. However, a letter of intent does not amount to an application for registration. An association can only be said to have applied when such application is in the prescribed form.
“The INEC designed application form is only issued after an association has received clearance on its proposed name, logo, acronym and address in Abuja and has also paid the required fee of N1m to obtain the form.”
The number of political parties in the country dropped to 18 when INEC deregistered the political parties.
Currently, there are 18 political parties in the country.
INEC had on February 6, 2020 deregistered 74 political parties due to their poor performance in the 2019 general elections and the re-run elections that followed.
INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, said in addition to the extant provision for the registration of political parties, the Fourth Alteration to the Section 225(a) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, empowers the commission to deregister political parties.
During the 2019 general elections, 91 political parties participated in the exercise, while an additional party, Boot Party, was registered based on the order of a court after the election.