Friday, 14 March 2014

Do you know that the electoral reforms undertaken have produced a truly Independent INEC?

The electoral reforms undertaken under the Jonathan administration have succeeded in producing a truly independent INEC, which hitherto seemed impossible. In addition, electoral disputes are expended relatively quickly, and politicians now have more confidence in the judicial process than ever before. This is partly owed to the sincerity with which Mr President implemented the reform, and partly due to his determination not to interfere with the judiciary and his commitment to the rule of law. The specific results are as follows:
  • Financial Independence for INEC: The INEC’s financial independence has increased compared to previous era, when the INEC drew its funding from the executive. Being on the first-line charge means INEC is now financially independent and may not be subjected to financial inducement.
  • Insulation of INEC from Partisanship: In the past INEC chairperson was expected to have the same ‘qualification as that of a member of National Assembly’ (House of Representatives), which meant that the chairperson could be a card-carrying member of a political party. However, with the amendment of the constitution, the INEC chairperson is now expected not to be partisan and thereby free from unhealthy political party influences. In addition, INEC now makes electoral regulations not necessarily with the consent of the Office of the President. In the past, a president may have had an unhealthy influence on the Office of INEC Chairperson because he approved the commission’s finances.
  • Greater Room for Post-Election Dispute Settlement: INEC may now conduct its elections earlier, even six months before the expiration date of current occupier of the office, which gives time to settle any electoral disputes that may arise from electoral contests.
  • Quicker Dispensation for Electoral Disputes: The establishment of more tribunals and the reduction of tribunal members from five to three means that more electoral disputes are being dispensed, thereby increasing opportunities for peaceful resolution of elections disputes and therefore reducing post-election violence. In addition, contestants’ confidence in the judiciary has significantly improved during the present administration.
  • Increased Confidence in the Political System: The reform to fix the tenure to four years for elective positions irrespective of whether an opposing party claims victory at the court has also brought confidence to the political system.
  • Most Transparent and Credible Elections: These reform efforts have culminated in the 2011 elections, which have been adjudged to be the most credible and transparent election conducted in Nigeria. 

No comments:

Post a Comment