CROSS RIVER POLITICS: Newly registered APC won’t participate in C/River Council election
LEGISREPORTS NG - Chairman of Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission (CROSIEC) Sir Patrick Otu, has announced that the new mega-party registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) few weeks ago, the All Progress Congress, will not be allowed to participate in the Local Council elections in Cross River State billed to hold on September 21, 2013.
Sir Otu said the party has been disqualified in race because of the legal implications for such.
Otu, stated this at a meeting held in the Commission’s office in Calabar with all registered political parties in the state which according to him, was part of the preparations for the local government election.
He said that his commission took the decision in order not to run foul of the law. Sir Otu reminded that if parties merge such would only be eligible to participate in an election only after 90 days.
“The Commission can not postpone the election because of a newly registered party. By September 21 when the local government elections will take place, the stipulate 90 days period would not have been met by APC in the state. Therefore, no candidate can be fielded to run on the platform of APC”, Sir Otu declared.
The CROSIEC boss maintained that “everything about election is law and nothing can be done outside the law. The former parties that merged to form APC are by law dead. What emerged will have to pay the price as no law covers what you were before the merger. By law, APC is disqualified from fielding candidates for both the chairmanship and the councillorship positions in the forthcoming elections”.
On whether the election could be postponed, the CROSIEC boss noted that there are lawful conditions for postponing or extending time of election which does not include registration of a new political party.
“There is no state of emergency in the state that would warrant an extension of time. When in 2004 we had a state of emergency because of the political situation, then it was understood. Election time-table is very important, especially to any election management body” he noted.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party led by the state Chairman, Ntufam John Okon, representatives of PPA, NCN and the defunct CAN, CPC and ANPP represented ACP.
It was also gathered that PDP is the only party that have fielded candidates for all in seats to be contested for.
As the PPA have some candidates, it appears that it might just be two political parties that will go into the local government polls in the state.
This report was prepared by our reporter in Calabar.