A Public Affairs analyst, Dr Adetokunbo Pearse, on Sunday commended the recent Supreme Court’s affirmation of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) power, to deregister political parties.
Pearse, a University of Lagos lecturer, who gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said the nation does not need more than three political parties for healthy competition.
NAN recalls that the Supreme Court had on May 7, ruled that the deregistration of one of the 74 parties by INEC in February 2020, was in line with constitutional provision.
The apex court made the pronouncement in a judgment, dismissing an appeal filed by the National Unity Party (NUP), one of the 74 political parties deregistered by INEC in February 2020.
Pearse said that if INEC had followed strictly its rules and laws, many of the political parties in the country would not have been registered.
“What is the purpose of all these parties? Looking at it critically based on the criteria for registration, 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 confusions.
“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 confusions,” he said.
Pearse, 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 it 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 appeal concerning 22 of the total 74 parties, still pending at the Supreme Court.
The 22 political parties had defeated INEC at the Court of Appeal in Abuja which had, in a judgment delivered on August 10, 2020, ordered INEC to re enlist them.
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 for the due process of law and the court.”
The 2019 General Elections was contested by 91 registered political parties. (NAN)