No fewer than 91 political parties are expected to participate in the general elections in 2019 as the Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday approved the registration of 23 new political parties .
The National Commissioner and Member , Voter Education and Publicity Committee , Mohammed Haruna , said this in a statement shortly after INEC ’ s regular meeting in Abuja .
The 23 newly registered parties are Advanced Alliance Party, Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party, African Action Congress , Alliance for a United Nigeria , Alliance of Social Democrats , Alliance National Party, Allied People ’ s Movement , and Alternative Party of Nigeria .
The others are Change Nigeria Party , Congress Of Patriots , Liberation Movement , Movement for Restoration and Defence of Democracy , Nigeria Community Movement Party, Nigeria For Democracy , Peoples Coalition Party , Reform and Advancement Party , Save Nigeria Congress , and the United Patriots .
INEC also registered United Peoples Congress , We The People Nigeria , Yes Electorates Solidarity , Youth Party , and Zenith Labour Party.
The commission noted that it received 144 applications from political associations seeking registration as political parties but only the 23 parties met the requirements .
It said it would not register any other party until after the 2019 general elections.
The statement read in part , “ After a rigorous process of evaluation in accordance with the constitution and the Electoral Act , which included the assessment of constitutions and manifestos of intending the parties as well as verification of membership of their executive committees and offices , the 23 associations met all the requirements and have been registered as political parties .
“ This brings the number of political parties to 91 and will be the last round of registration of parties until after the general elections on February 16 , 2019 . This suspension is in line with Section 78 ( 1 ) of the Electoral Act , which requires all applications for registration as a political party to be concluded latest six months to a general election . ”
The electoral umpire said the political parties would receive their Certificates of Registration at INEC ’ s head office in Abuja on Thursday .
The commission said it would issue a notice of election on Friday , in accordance with Section 30 ( 1 ) of the Electoral Act , 2010 ( as amended ) .
“ This will kick- start the countdown to the 2019 general elections, ” it said .
The electoral body also announced the extension of the deadline for voter registration from August 17 to August 31 , 2018 .
The commission noted that it decided to extend the deadline in order to give more people the opportunity to vote next year .
It said between April 2017 when the Continuous Voter Registration exercise began and August 2018 , over 12 million persons had registered .
INEC said even after the registration of fresh voters stopped , it would continue to distribute PVCs until February next year .
It added , “ The commission wishes to inform the public that the ongoing collection of PVCs will not end with the CVR exercise . Collection of PVCs will continue until close to the general elections. ”
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