INEC Draft Guidelines

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INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION

DRAFT GUIDELINES FOR THE REGISTRATION OF NEW POLITICAL
PARTIES


IN exercise of the powers conferred on it by the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999
and the Electoral Act 2001, the Independent National
Electoral Commission, (in these guidelines referred to
as the Commission) hereby issues the following
guidelines for the registration of political parties.


I. A political party for the purposes of these
guidelines is defined as an organisation of registered
voters that has qualified to participate in an
election by meeting all prescribed statutory
requirements.


II. An application by a political association seeking
registration as a political party (hereinafter
referred to as "an association") shall be addressed to
the Chairman of the Commission and submitted to the
Commission's Headquarters not later than 4.p.m. on the
180th day preceding the commencement of the next
general elections (states and federal elections).


III. The application for registration as a political
party shall be made on the commission's Form PA1 in 20
copies and shall be accompanied by the following
documents:
(a) The name of the proposed party;
(b) The names, signatures and residential address of
the chairman and secretary of the association filing
the application;
(c) Evidence of payment of the prescribed fee of
N100,000 (one hundred thousand naira).
(d) Twenty copies of the association's constitution
and manifesto. No Association by whatever name called
shall be registered as a political party unless the
association submits to the chairman of the commission
in person not later than 4p.m on the 150th day
preceding the next general elections the following
documents:


IV. The names, signatures, residential addresses and
states the local council areas of origin respectively
of members of its national and state executive
committees and the records of proceedings of the
meeting where these officers were elected.


V. The name or acronym of the association must:
(e) not be the same as the name or acronym of an
existing party or any organisation;
(f) not have any ethnic, religious, professional or
other sectional connotation;
(g) not give the appearance that its activities are
confined to a part only of Nigeria;
(h) not be couched in such a way as to be capable of
misleading the voters.
(c ) A register showing that its membership is open
to every citizen of Nigeria (who is a registered
voter)
irrespective of place of origin, circumstances of
birth,
ethnic group, sex or religion.


VI. A copy of the association's constitution which
must be registered in the commission's Form PAI and
shall contain among other things:
1. the association's aims and objectives, name
symbol, emblem and motto;
2. provisions for periodic election or democratic
basis of the principal officers and members of the
executive committees or other governing bodies.
3. A provision that the members or other
governing bodies and administrative personnel at the
national level reflect the federal character principle
of the Constitution of the Federal Republic;
4. A provision showing that its constitution and
manifesto conform with the provisions of the 1999
Constitution, the Electoral Act 2001 and these
guidelines;
v. a provision relating to disciplinary procedure of
the association stating clearly the method of
expelling an ordinary member, party official,
political office holder including persons elected into
public office on the platform of the association;
vi. a provision relating to the method of amendment or
alteration of the constitution and
vii. a provision stating that the national headquarters
of the association is situate in the Federal Capital
Territory.
e. Names, signatures, thumbprints, dates of joining,
residential addresses of registered voters in at least
24 states of the federation and FCT who are members of
the association and do not belong to any other
political party or any other political association
f. An affidavit sworn to by the chairman or secretary
of the association to the effect that no member of the
association is a member of any other existing party or
political association.
g. A bank statement indicating the bank account into
which all income of the proposed political association
has been paid and shall continue to be paid and from
which all expenses are paid and shall be paid.
h. The address of its headquarters at Abuja and the
addresses of its offices, list of its staff, list of
its operational equipment and furniture in at lest 24
states of the federation.


VII. Evidence of ownership or rental of such office.


5. The symbol of the association must not portray any
of the following:
(i) Coat of Arms of the Federation;
(j) Coat of Arms of any other country;
(k) Any device or emblem which is normally associated
with any of the following:
5. any official acts of government or armed forces
of the federation or Nigeria Police force or other
uniformed service; or
6. any tribe or ethnic group; or
7. any religion or cult
(l) Any portrait of a person living or dead
(m) Any symbol or part of a symbol which has been
registered by another political party in Nigeria or
political association or any public organisation
6. A person shall not be eligible to be registered as
a member of political association seeking to be
registered as a political party if he/she:
VIII. has not attained the age of 18 years;
IX. has not registered as a voter in the area where
he/she intends to vote during the elections
X. is a traditional ruler
XI. is a member of the public service of the
federation or of a state as defined by the
Constitution
XII. is a member of the armed forces of the federation
or of the Nigeria Police Force or security and
paramilitary organs of the government and
XIII. membership shall be in personal capacity not
by reason of being a member of youth club, wing, or
vanguard or any association seeking registration.
7. After the last date, the submission of applications
by associations wishing to be registered as political
parties, the commission shall consider all the
applications received and verify the claims of the
association.
8. The commission in verifying the claims shall among
other things:
a. display the list of the names on the application
and membership of the political association as
contained in the documents submitted to the
commission, in every state and LGA of the federation
for seven (7) days for public scrutiny and objections.
b. Check the names on the application to ensure
that they are registered voters;
c. Check whether the membership contravenes
any of the provisions of paragraph 6 of these
guidelines;
d. Ascertain whether:
* the association has offices in 24 states of the
federation and in the Federal Capital Territory as
required by paragraph 4 of these guidelines;
* the Constitution and manifesto of the association
comply with the provisions of the Constitution, the
Electoral Act 2001 and these guidelines;
* the composition of members of its executive
committees and administrative personnel take into
account the federal character principle of the
federation and peculiarity and diversity of the
people;
* the name, acronym, motto and symbol do not
offend the provisions of the constitution, the
Electoral Act 2001 and these guidelines;
* the association is structured and committed to
the principles of democracy, secularism and other
social objectives as spelt out in Chapter 2 of the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
(1) Where the commission is satisfied that an
association has fulfilled all the conditions
prescribed for registration by the constitution, the
Electoral Act and these guidelines, the commission
shall register such an association as a political
party by issuing it with a Certificate of Registration
duly signed by the Chairman of the commission.
(2) If the commission is not satisfied that an
association
has fulfilled all the conditions prescribed for
registration, it shall not register such an
association as a political party and shall notify it
accordingly.
(3) In notifying the association, the commission must
state in writing the grounds for its refusal.
(4) Any false declaration shall result in non-
registration of the association.


10. (1) A newly registered political party shall in
the first place participate only in the local
Government Elections.
(2) The newly registered political party shall
thereafter participate in the State and National
Elections if, and only if, it scores ten per cent of
the seats during the LGA elections in each of, not
less than 24 states of the federation including Abuja.
(3)Where the newly registered political party fails
to score 10 per cent of the seats during the local
government elections as envisaged by paragraph, 10(2)
of these guidelines, the political party shall
continue to operate only at local government level in
all subsequent elections as envisaged by paragraph
10(1) until such a time it complies with the
provisions of paragraph 10(2) of these guidelines.

Dated This 25th Day of April, 2002 ABUJA

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