Violent party primaries, electoral framework delay threat to 2019 polls – Jega

Violent party primaries, electoral framework delay threat to 2019 polls – Jega
May 28 23:48 2018

By Ahmed Idris

The former chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, said on Monday that violent party primary elections and the delay in the passage of electoral framework are threats to the conduct of the 2019 elections.

In a lecture titled “Peace building and Good Governance for Sustainable Development in Nigeria” delivered at the 2018 Democracy Day celebration in Abuja, Jega said increased incidences of hate speeches would also have adverse effect on the 2019 general elections.

“The first thing to consider is a electoral violence and there is no better way to address this than what happened in recent party congresses and its potential danger. If political parties cannot organise their internal elections peacefully, how can they engage the other parties with civility in the general elections?

“It is very very important that this is addressed because if there is crisis in the elections, some of these issues are outside the scope of electoral commission, but in the end it is the electoral commission that gets blamed.

“It is important that we improve our systemic mechanisms of addressing violence and conflicts related to elections and in particular improving the score of internal democracy within political parties,” he said.

On the delay in passing the amended Electoral Act, Jega said it was important that INEC gets a better electoral legal framework in place for 2019 general elections than what obtains in 2015 general elections.

On the spate of hate speeches in the country by political actors and opinion, religious and political leaders, Jega said such utterances portend dangers for the elections.

He said unbridled utterance facilitates electoral violence in general elections and that it would undermine the integrity of the 2019 elections if not properly tamed based on rule of law.