INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION:
DRAFT GUIDELINES FOR THE REGISTRATION OF NEW POLITICAL PARTIES
Saturday, May 4, 2002.
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