Thirty-seven registered political parties in Enugu State has endorsed the outcome of the elections held last Saturday across the 17 local government areas of the state, describing the exercise as free and fair.
A communique issued and signed by chairpersons of the parties after a press conference held Monday, in Enugu, praised the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) for successfully organizing a peaceful election noting that it “met the minimum requirements of international best practices”.
They also commended the Commission for its “neutrality and impartiality” since the issuance of election notice on August 1, this year. “Never in the history of local government elections in Enugu has there been a Commission that left its doors open to the political parties. The Commission was accessible to the political parties and, much more, they were receptive to superior arguments,” read the communique.
“We acknowledge that the Commission yielded to all the demands of political parties including removal of payment of nomination fees by candidates, reversing the disqualification of candidates for non-payment of tax or presentation of tax clearance certificates.
“Enugu State stands out as a reference point in Nigeria where political parties have a level playing field to contest local government election without any form of encumbrances such as nomination fees, tax, screening, as opposed to what obtains in other states of the federation.”
The statement congratulated candidates who were elected as council chairmen and councilors as well as those who lost. It further implored the winners to be magnanimous in victory and extend hands of fellowship to the losers, advising them to be sportsmanlike in defeat.
While noting that there could be no real yardstick to assess democratic progress without the losers in elections, the political parties chairmen urged aggrieved candidates to “express their grievances in accordance with the electoral laws of the state by approaching the Local Government Election Tribunal to ventilate their dissatisfaction if any”..
ENSIEC had earlier announced that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the entire 17 chairmanship seats in last Saturday’s council elections. The party was also declared winners in 258 council wards out of the 260 electoral wards in the state. The process in the remaining two wards was declared inconclusive.