The United Democratic Party (UDP) has criticised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for releasing the procedures for voting in the general elections.
National Chairman of the party, Mr Godson Okoye, accused the electoral umpire of not carrying the stakeholders along properly before making such decision.
“My party’s opinion is this guideline plus (the appointment of Mrs) Amina Zakari minus the Electoral Act, it is equal to a compromised election,” Okoye alleged.
“You don’t even need to be a lawyer that this document if it is left as it is according to my party; it is just a manual for rigging and the absence of the new Electoral Act.”
INEC had published an article entitled ‘How To Vote’ on its website to highlighted seven procedures the electorate should follow in casting their votes on the day of elections.
But the UDP chairman insisted that there was no part of the Constitution which empowered the electoral body to make laws for its own use.
According to him, INEC has a responsibility to consult with political parties as “the critical stakeholders” in elections before certain decisions can be made.
“At the highpoint of 2015 elections, parties said the election should be shifted. Did INEC conduct election on that day? They listened to political parties,” Okoye said.
“They said seven procedures for election; who did they consult before they brought that? Are these procedures they are bringing part of these guidelines?”
He explained that one of the major reasons why the “system does not work” was because some people were “insensitive” to the opinion of others.
The UDP chairman said his part got information from INEC that it would be meeting with political parties four days to the event.
Having stated this, he claimed that some party representatives raised issues with the guidelines before the electoral body went ahead to publish the voting procedures.
“If you are making a proposal, you are consulting. Is INEC going to field candidates? Are they going to be the ones sponsoring candidates’ election?” Okoye asked.
“For goodness sake, if we want this system to work, if we want these guidelines to work, political parties must be listened to.”
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