Why we want to contest elections at all cost – YDM
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
Still basking in the euphoria of its victory at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the Young Democratic Party, YDM, has given the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, a condition under which it may waive its right to contest the 2015 general elections rescheduled for March 28 and April 11.
The party, which was ordered to be registered by the court, after meeting all the conditions set out for registration of political parties, said it had no plan to scuttle the forthcoming elections and that it would only waive its insistence on contesting the elections, if INEC assured that it would not be de-registered after the general elections.
The party also disclosed that it had concluded plans to file a suit against the elections of the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose and his Osun State counterpart, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, because of its exclusion from participating in the governorship polls in the two states, insisting that it was already a political party when the two elections were held.
The party, YDM and the judgement ordering its registration by INEC had come under severe scrutiny, as the party insisted on contesting all elections though the electoral body had printed ballot papers for the elections without the name of the party on it.
However, the party said on Saturday that it does not have any alliance with the two major parties in the country, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In an interview with The Punch on Saturday, one of the lawyers of the party, Mr. Ugo Nwofor, said the party’s insistence on participating in the forthcoming elections was to avert possible de-registration of the party in the future.
According to him, the party was apprehensive that INEC could turn around to de-register it if it fails to win any of the presidential, governorship, national and state legislative elections as clearly provided in section 78(7) of the Electoral Act.
Nwofor said: “We don’t want to scuttle the election. Let me tell you why we are interested in contesting election. Section 78(7) of the Electoral Act says if a party fails to win presidential election, governorship election or a seat in the Senate, House of Representatives or the House of Assembly, INEC can deregister you. So if we don’t participate in the election at all, INEC can come back and deregister us
“Unless INEC is coming out with a bond that they won’t touch us. We don’t have any plan to scuttle the election. We just want to participate in the election so that we can remain as a political party.
“Not talking to us is not helping anybody. We are more interested in retaining our registration than in participating in these elections. We are suspecting that they want to use that to deregister us.
“We do not want to scuttle the elections. It could be what PDP wants or what APC wants but we will not fall into anybody hands. We want to discuss with INEC and not political parties so that it will not be what PDP wants or what APC wants.”
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