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Parties rig before elections — Atiku

Posted by Everest Amaefule, Abuja on 2005/08/26 | Views: 486 |

Parties rig before elections — Atiku


Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has said that most elections in the country are rigged through intra-party manipulations before the citizenry go to the polls.

Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has said that most elections in the country are rigged through intra-party manipulations before the citizenry go to the polls.

Abubakar said this in Abuja on Thursday while delivering a keynote address at the National conference on elections 2007: Protecting the people’s mandate, organised by the Global Rights Nigeria.

He said, "An essential element in promoting free and fair elections in the country is free and fair conduct of party elections.

"Most elections are rigged before they occur because candidates are eliminated through various methods.

"These include subverting party constitution and rules, the use of thugs, corrupting party officials to disqualify or annul the nomination of some candidates and other illegal methods of distorting the wishes of the electorate.

"Parties cannot promote a strong democratic order unless they themselves are committed to democratic operations in their internal affairs. Parties can only promote the rule of law and democracy in the country if they practise these themselves.

"As we move towards the 2007 elections, it is essential that party congresses and conventions and the nomination processes within the political parties are conducted in a free and fair manner and in accordance with the parties' constitutions."

Abubakar said every Nigerian should be worried by these undemocratic practices, which are rampant in the nation’s political parties.

He also indicted the civil society for similar tendencies.

“The commitment of the civil society to the democratic operation of their organisations will enhance their capacity to be watch-dogs of democracy and the rule of law in the wider political system,” he said.

According to the vice-president, the electoral mandate of the people means a commitment by politicians and other stakeholders to respect the capacity of the citizenry to choose their leaders.

He said this also entailed upholding the sanctity of the political parties as the bastion of democracy, which must be allowed to operate in accordance with the constitution guiding the parties.

Abubakar said, "One of the real tests of democracy is the acceptance by those in power that others who criticise them and are indeed trying to democratically take over their exalted positions are legitimate players in the system.

"This has been a major challenge in most African countries which we must face. It is also true that a commitment to democracy ensures free and fair elections in the political parties and the democratic institutions of the state."

The PUNCH, Friday August 26, 2005

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.