The Electoral Commission
An Electoral Commission has the responsibility of conducting and supervising elections in Nigeria. An example in Nigeria is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
INEC, for instance has been conducting all elections in Nigeria since 1999.
The following are the functions of INEC:
- It registers political parties who present candidates for elections.
- It reviews voters ‘register before elections.
- It divides the country into constituencies.
- It supplies electoral materials e.g. Ballot boxes, ballot papers and soon.
- It is responsible for conducting and organizing election in states.
- It registers and screens candidates before elections.
- It educates the electorates about electoral system.
- It gives financial grants to political parties.
A political party is an organized group of people with similar political opinion and ideology working together with the aim of winning election into political positions.
There are many political parties in Nigeria among which are People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party, All Progressives Congress (APC) to mention but just a few.
Features of Political Parties
The features of political parties are:
- Existence of Manifestos: A manifesto is adocument showing a party’s aims, objectives and what it tends to achieve if it comes to power after an election.
- They always want to prove that they are accountable to electorates.
- They primarily aim at contesting, winning and gaining control of governmental powers through free and fair elections.
- They always aim at having membership all over the country. Membership is opened to everybody irrespective of tribes, sex or religion.
importance of Political Parties
The following are the functions of political parties in Nigeria
- They Educate the Electorates: Political parties in Nigeria help in educating the electorates through their campaigns, Political rallies etc.
- They Promote Political Stability: They help to ensure political stability by presenting candidates that are capable and experience enough to rule the country effectively.
- They Select and Recruit Leaders: Parties help in grooming, identifying and recruitingg good leaders for the nation.
- They Promote Interest in Politics: Political parties help in bringing together different interest groups. Through political activities such as rallies, campaigns those who are not interested in politics are easily wooed.
- They Promote National Unity: A party is made of people from different ethnic, religious, and professional groups. The party serves as a unifying factor. They have the same interest, goal, aspirations, intentions forgetting their backgrounds.
- They Provide Opportunity for Political Participation: Through political parties programmes, citizens can easily become part of political and electoral activities such as canvassing for votes, registering for election, voting and so on.
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