Disarray over party code of conduct
Sixteen of the 63 registered parties in Nigeria have failed to sign a Code of Conduct for political parties in readiness for the polls on 2nd (Parliamentary) and 9th (Presidential) April (47 did sign).
The ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has failed to sign the document in a ceremony which was called by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega. The PDP National Secretary, Abubakar Kawu Baraje said that the parties had not been permitted to input or comment on the drafting of the document.
Other parties commented that their views and requests had not been taken in to account whilst others said the document was meaningless. Several parties commented that the code was a slightly revised version of that introduced in 2007 and that it had not been observed then. Other suggested that the INEC was ‘playing to the gallery’ and that it can’t or won’t enforce the document.
The code includes a section that prohibits parties from using state resources for election campaigning. It forbids the forcible occupation or invasion of a polling station, collation centre or INEC office; and it prohibits incumbents using their office to prevent others from campaigning including postering and leaflet distribution. All of these measures were infringed in the previous election according to international observers.
Without the support and backing of the PDP the document will have little meaning.