35 political parties seek postponement of Enugu council poll
Allege bias against electoral commission
A Coalition of 35 registered political parties in Enugu State yesterday asked the state Electoral Independent Commission (ENSIEC) to postpone the November 4 council poll.
The state Chairman of Hope Democratic Party, (HDP), Adonys Igwe, led the parties on a protest to the commission’s office.The group accused the commission of flouting its own rules to favour the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
They also demanded the sack of the commission’s members and its Chairman, Mike Ajogwu, accusing them of compromising in their responsibilities.
According to Igwe: “They disqualified all our candidates, including the ones in Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s wards whom we believed were capable of winning the election. They did not tell us why they did it, but we knew it was because they didn’t want any challenge.
“By this action, the commission’s members have proved that they are card-carrying members of the PDP. Before the disqualification of our candidates, they asked them to make certain payments, until the court stopped it.”
The coalition dismissed the non-payment of tax, which the commission gave as a reason for disqualifying some of them, adding: “Only people who are working could be taxed.”
The coalition warned against allowing the issue to cause a breakdown of law and order in the state.Igwe threatened that the coalition would seek a court order to stop the election, if nothing was done to accommodate all parties and allow a level-playing field.
Reacting, the commission’s Secretary, Tagbo Nnamah, said he was yet to receive the protest letter by the group. He also denied that the ENSIEC members were card-carrying members of the PDP.
He, however, disclosed that the commission had scheduled a meeting with leaders of political parties in the state to resolve their grievances.Nnamah hinted that those disqualified on the basis of lacking evidence of tax payment, might be cleared to contest after the meeting.
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