By PAUL UWADIMA, Abuja
The Democratic People’s Congress (DPC) has expressed its opposition to the inclusion of independent candidates in the Electoral Act insisting that Nigeria’s fragile democracy is not yet ripe for it.
The DPC in its Democracy Day statement, signed by the national chairman, Rev. Olusegun Peters and made available to LEADERSHIP in Abuja, yesterday, said, it strongly opposed the call for inclusion of independent candidates for elections in Nigeria. The party advised its proponents including Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu and the Deputy
Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Yusuf Sulaimon Lasun to reconsider their position, examine its implications and complications in an emerging democracy like Nigeria where it is difficult to conduct successful party sponsored elections.
It observed that till date INEC is yet to conduct some 2015 inconclusive elections, noting that it would be cumbersome if not a herculean task for INEC to include independent candidates at this time of our electoral process.
It however observed that as the nation’s democracy progresses, independent candidates could participate in elections to further broaden the political space in the future but insisted that for now it is opposed to independent candidates.
The party also rejected the call for Diaspora voting saying that in a country where millions of her eligible voters are disenfranchised due to flawed electoral process and where 15 – 20 per cent of registered voters cast their ballots in polls, Nigeria is also not yet ripe for Diaspora voting. It observed that supporters of Nigerians in Diaspora to vote in elections fallaciously assume that those living in Britain and America are the only Nigerians in Diaspora forgetting millions of other fellow compatriots across the world who should not be disenfranchised in any election they are supposed to participate in.
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