As preparations for the 2015 general election gather momentum, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Tuesday presented the draft guidelines for the conduct of the elections to the registered political parties.
The draft guidelines stipulated that it is only national chairmen and national secretaries of political parties that would have the right to sign the nomination forms of the candidates for elections.
Speaking at the quarterly meeting between INEC and the representatives of the registered political parties in Abuja, the commission’s chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, said the early presentation of the document to the political parties was for them to go through and point out observations where necessary ahead of the final copy which would be duly signed and becomes operational for the smooth conduct of the polls.
Jega said the draft guidelines was the product of the input received from the representatives of the registered political parties and those of the commission all put together towards organising the best elections come 2015.
He said the meeting was summoned to brief the political parties till the steps being taken on the production of permanent voter cards and the innovations the commission was introducing to authenticate genuine voters during the elections time.
According to him, “it is important to continue to brief you as the journey progresses so that you can in turn enlighten your members and the general public at large, as we hold the meeting regularly, we will take inputs from you to be included in the agenda of discussions."
While assuring stakeholders that the commission would continue to be transparent in all its dealings towards making the 2015 more credible and acceptable to all and sundry, Jega promised that the commission was committed towards improving upon its activities.
He promised to unveil the sample of the permanent voter cards to the representatives of the political parties during the course of the meeting
Commenting on the INEC draft guidelines, the APGA national chairman, Victor Umeh, said that the meeting summarized the rules and procedures between INEC and the political parties and other details regarding the 2015 general election like the release of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC).
For instance, Umeh said the sample of the PVC shown to the political parties has an automatic finger system that will make rigging and multiple voting impossible.
Under the draft guidelines, Umeh said that INEC made it mandatory that it is only the national chairmen and national secretaries of political parties that would nominate candidates for the general election. The other aspect of the draft guidelines, he is how to train the polling agents during the election.
The APGA national chairman explained that INEC will today unfold the other strategic plans that would make the 2015 general election to be transparent, free and fair.