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House passes Bill seeking to regulate political parties

By Tony Akowe, Abuja

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed for second reading a Bill seeking to alter the provisions of 1999 Constitution to strengthen political parties’ structures in the country.

The Bill, which has been referred to the Special Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, also seeks to regulate the political parties that should contest elections in the country.

Leading the debate on the general principles of the Bill, its sponsor, Oberuakpefe Afe (PDP, Delta), said if a political party does not win a seat in a House of Assembly, such party should be deregistered and tagged unfit to further contest for any elective position.

He said when passed, the proposed law would further help to structure political parties in the country.

But opposing the Bill, Nkem Abonta (PDP, Abia) said there was need to respect the freedom of association, hence excluding a party for political participation was not in the spirit of the constitution.

When the Bill was put to a voice vote, majority of the lawmakers voted in its favour.

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