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Rivers LG polls: 16 political parties ready to participate – RSIEC

By: Felix Ikpotor

The Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC), says 16 out of the 19 registered political parties in the country have showed interest in traking participate in the state’s local government council elections slated for October 5, 2024.

RSIEC’s Commissioner in charge of Political Parties and Monitoring, Professor Simeon Emenike Wali, made this known  in Port Harcourt, during an interactive meeting with executives of political parties in the state.

Professor Wali while highlighting the essence of the meeting, noted that it was to remind the political parties of the need for them to comply with pre-election stipulations, stressing that the commission had already received five conflicting cases of double registration for political parties, assuring that the challenge would be addressed by the commission.

He said, “The primary objective of the meeting today is to draw our attention to vital pre-2024 local government councils’ election activities that should be satisfactorily completed by Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission and the political parties prior to the commencement of the local government elections on October 5th 2024 in accordance with the RSIEC law of 2018.

“Issuance of expression of interest forms, which has already commenced, section 21 of RSIEC law 2018 mandates RSIEC to issue expression of interest forms to chairmen or secretaries of political parties that come to RSIEC to express interest to participate in the 2024 local government council election that would be conducted in Rivers State on October 5th 2024.

“Deadline date for expression of interest to participate in the election is Monday 1st July 2024 to Monday 15th July 2024.

“So far 16 out of the 19 registered political parties have expressed their interest to participate in the election. Of the 16 political parties that have expressed, there are five conflicting cases of double registration of interest which will be addressed by the commission in due course.”

In his earlier address, the Chairman of RSIEC, Justice Adolphus Enebeli (rtd),  encouraged political parties and their candidates to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship in the forthcoming elections, as well as strictly adhere to all election guidelines and timetable.

“The purpose of our meeting is twofold, first to underline the central and pivotal role of registered political parties in the conduct of elections, secondly to reaffirm the need for political parties to adhere strictly to the election guidelines and timetable.

“As you all know, political parties play a major role in every election, for any election to succeed, you must have the political parties’ participation.

 “So what we are doing today is to assure equal participation of political parties in Rivers State because they are central to the forthcoming election fixed for 5th of October, 2024.

He added, “We also want to reaffirm our commitment to sustaining a fair and credible, peaceful, orderly, inclusive transparent election in Rivers State come 5th of October, 2024.

“For elections to be credible, fair, peaceful and orderly, participants in the contest must have acknowledge the spirit of sportsmanship and avoid untoward conducts, because losers in an element are as important as winners in the election, because without contest there cannot emerge a winner.”

On his part, the Rivers State Chairman of the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC), Solsouma Osaro, expressed excitement over the massive turnout of political parties in expressing their readiness to participate in the elections.

Osaro, who is also the State Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), noted that the political parties massive turnout to participate in the local government council elections was consequent upon Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s efforts to ensure that elected chairmen take charge of the 23 local councils of the state.

“It is encouraging to note that 16 out of the 19 political parties have indicated interest to participate in this election and that means the consciousness of the political field is very high, that means the electorates as represented by their various political parties are very ready to ensure that the wishes of their members are expressed.

“It also means that we want to have elected officers at the local government level, IPAC appreciates the fact that the state governor demonstrated his willingness, instead of encouraging the running of the local government system with caretakers, it’s not up to two months, we had the caretakers inaugurated and on the heels of that inauguration, less than two months, we’ve seen the electoral processes unveiled to usher in elected local government officers, which means the government of the day is very conscious to the fact that people want to have their representatives duly elected.

“So we are very comfortable with and happy that the political parties have actually indicated interest, let me also tell you that before the day runs out, 17 parties would have picked their expression of interest forms. So out of 19, we have 17 committed political parties who are ready to participate in these processes,” he stated.

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