The Director of Electoral Services at the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Serebour Quaicoe, has indicated that the Commission relaxed the laws for the 17 political parties whose licences have been revoked, hoping that they would grow to meet the law establishing them, Act 574, but they could not.
“We gave the political parties ample time by relaxing the law establishing political parties in the country, that is, Act 574, hoping that they will be serious to organise themselves properly to meet the law but they could not so we had to strictly adhere to the law and revoke their licences,” he posited.
Dr Quaicoe explained that Act 574 of the political party’s law had it that the parties registered with the EC must have district, regional and national offices across the country but unfortunately they could not grow to meet the law establishing them.
According to him, the decision to go and inspect the offices of the political parties was taken at an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting with all 28 political parties last year and the various political parties were duly informed about the exercise but they took the exercise for granted.
“Section 15 of the Political Party’s Act says the offices shall be established and maintained but the 17 political parties have no functional offices across the country because any political party with functional office will not go on break but operate through the year and democracy goes hand-in-hand with laws which stipulates that offices of political parties must be established and maintained.
“These political parties failed to maintain their offices in the regions, I led the team to do the verification of the offices of the 17 political parties and they have no functional offices with some of the 28 parties on the EC’s list not cut for political party status since some of them were formed to fight the state,” Dr Quaicoe queried.
He revealed that it was the first phase of the exercise and the second phase of the exercise would be dealing with the financial standings of the political parties in the elections management body’s register.