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2019 elections: Parties implement new guidelines

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A new code of conduct has been implemented to guide the conduct of the 68 registered political parties in the country ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The development took place at the two-day “Validation Workshop to Adopt Code for Political Parties in Nigeria” on Friday in Abuja organised by the Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre (PPLPDC) of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

While speaking, The Chief Operating Officer of the NIPSS-PPLPDC, Prof. Habu Galadima, said the code passed through rigorous expert review before being presented to the parties to deliberate and agreed upon.

Galadima said the code is a voluntary Code of Conduct providing a set of guidelines of behaviour for political parties and their supporters relating to their participation in the election process.

He said: “Nigerian political parties are largely characterized by observers as lacking clear programmes and ideologies, weak in internal democracy, not inclusive, as well as having a tendency to disregard party and electoral rules.

“As a result, they have often been unable to effectively mobilize and educate the public. Instead, they have been marred by internal crises and have been the purveyors of electoral violations and violence.”

Represented by the Chairman Election and Party Monitoring Committee (EPMC) Prof Antonia Okoosi-Simbine, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, expressed satisfaction for the official signing and adaption of the new Code of Conduct.

“It is commendable that political parties in Nigeria have remained committed to the idea of developing and operating under a mutually agreed code of conduct that sets the parameters of acceptable behavior for political parties, their candidates and their supporters throughout the electoral cycle.

“By contributing to and signing the code of conduct, political parties have indeed committed to a pact with Nigerians that their activities will, going forward, be consistent with international best practices and enhance the confidence of citizens in our evolving democratic culture,” she said.

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