INEC registers PDM, ID; more parties may emerge soon
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday announced the registration of two new political parties, the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) and the Independent Democrats (ID).
The Commission, in a statement yesterday from the Secretary, Mrs. Chinwe Ogakwu, said: “INEC has registered the two new political parties in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
“The Constitution, Manifesto, Logo/Flag and list of National Executive Officers of each party have also been approved by the Commission,” the statement added.
The Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, had on Thursday denied report that the Commission was set to confirm registration of a political party.
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Idowu spoke as though it would take some time before any parTy would come on stream.
“Registration of new political parties has been an ongoing thing in the commission. We have currently received and are processing the applications of over 10 political groups that have requested to be registered as political parties, he said.
“As the Commission will continue to deregister parties that have failed to meet the requirements of the electoral act, it will also not hesitate to register groups that have fulfilled all the requirements for registration as political parties.
“Right now, the Commission is still going through their documents and if we deem them fit to operate as political parties, they will be issued with certificates of registration,” Idowu added.
Ex-Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is believed to be the major promoter of the new party also on Thursday denied having a hand in the formation.
He however said having more strong political parties is good for the country.
Reacting through his media adviser, Shehu Garba, Atiku while dissociating himself from the new platform, insisted that he remains in PDP, though “he will always welcome the expansion of the political space to accommodate all shades of opinion or political hue.”
According to him, “freedom of association as enshrined in the constitution is the beauty of democracy and that he wouldn’t dissuade any of his followers from seeking a platform to promote their programmes.”
Nine serving governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are reportedly backing the PDM, albeit tactically since they are yet to resign from the ruling party.
PDM played an active role in the country’s democratic transition from military to civilian regime.
The PDM platform, which was founded by the late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, provided the impetus for his impressive performance across the country during the September 1992 presidential primaries, which were later cancelled by the military regime.
In 1999, the PDM was at the forefront in the emergence of the Ex-President, Obasanjo as PDP presidential candidate.
The choice of Atiku Abubakar as Obasanjo’s running mate is believed to be in recognition of the active role of the PDM platform in his victory.
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