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Political parties on Friday adopted a code of conduct that will guide their operations before, during and after the 2019 general elections.
The adoption and signing of the code of conduct was witnessed by the National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in charge of Election and Party Monitoring, Prof. Anthonia Okorie-Simbine.
The document was signed after a two -day workshop on the validation of the code of conduct organised by the Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies.
While the Deputy National Chairman (North) of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Lawal Shuaibu led 54 other political parties to sign the document, 14 political parties including the Peoples Democratic Party were conspicuously absent from the event.
Speaking at the ceremony, Okoosi-Simbine, who represented the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, assured the parties of INEC’s commitment to ensuring a level playing field in the conduct of elections in the country.
She stated further that political parties as principal actors in the electoral environment would no doubt play significant roles in the success of the 2019 general elections.
She stated, “It is vital that political party leaders take their commitment to the code of conduct beyond the official signing of the document by translating the provisions of the code to visible actions that impact positively on sustaining and enhancing the gains of Nigeria’s democratic evolution.
“By contributing to and signing the code of conduct, political parties have indeed committed to a pact with Nigerians that their activities will be consistent with international best practices and enhance the confidence of citizens in our evolving democratic culture.”
Simbine said INEC had been a significant partner at various stages of the evolution and development of the code of conduct with the technical and financial support of international development partners.