13 parties boycott rescheduled Bayelsa Assembly election

Posted by News Express | 18 April 2015 | 5,897 times

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The All Progressive Congress (APC) and 12 other political parties announced the decision to boycott the rescheduled elections expected to hold today in eight Bayelsa State House of Assembly constituencies.

According to the APC and other opposition political parties, the decision to boycott the rescheduled election was due to the deliberate partnership between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the election.

The coalition, at a media briefing in Yenagoa, stated that they pulled out of the elections after discovering that the state office of INEC had entered into a “concrete agreement” with the ruling PDP to undo other parties.

The parties, in a statement signed by the Chairmen of APC, Mr. Tiwe Oruminighe, Gerebo Joseph (UDP), Abbey Daniel (APA), Helen Okorodas (ACD), Tukuwei Powede (ACPN), Bezi William (UPP) and Olomu Ebiowei (LP),Edwin Tare (DPP), King-George Lucky (CPP), Isaac Eze (MPPP), Oniekpe Prince (SDP) and Owei-tongu Woniwei (AD), said INEC and PDP had perfected a plot to hoard all sensitive materials meant for the election.

According to the opposition parties, “Their ploy is to hoard all the sensitive electoral materials, result sheets inclusive, such that after the conduct of the election with non-sensitive materials, INEC staff, the electoral officers of the eight local government in the state will converge at designated places to enter their manufactured results into the original result sheets in favour of PDP.”

The aggrieved parties further accused PDP of perfecting an illegal arrangement to use the military to intimidate, harass and muzzle other candidates and genuine voters to favour the PDP candidates.

According to them, “The PDP intends to repeat their manipulative tendencies as experienced in the recently conducted state House of Assembly elections where INEC manipulated the result in favour of the PDP candidates.

“Armed military men were guarding INEC staff, the electoral officers and ad-hoc staff, while the illicitly entered fake results into the original sheets. Armed military men were shooting gun sporadically in a deliberate bid to intimidate the electorate during election. Electoral materials including the ballot boxes and ballot papers were snatched and taken to unknown destination to carry on their fraudulent practices.”

The parties said they had chosen to boycott the elections to avoid bloodshed, destruction and maiming which could be provoked by the “wicked intentions” of PDP and INEC.

It would be recalled that the INEC had last week rescheduled elections in eight state constituencies in the state.

Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Baritor Kpagih, had named the affected constituencies as Ekeremor Constituencies 1, 2 and 3; Kolokuma/Opokuma constituencies 1 and 2; Sagbama constituencies 1 and 2; and Southern Ijaw Constituency 1.

Kpagih had explained that the shift in the affected constituencies in four Local Government Areas of the state was in agreement with the stance by stakeholders that no election should take place in the constituencies without full complement of ballot papers.

He denied any complicity of the electoral body with any political party to subvert the electoral process.

However, PDP in the state has denied allegations of purported plans to rig the election.

Mr Osom Jacob Makbere, Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Osom Jacob Makbere described the allegations as totally false, baseless and misleading.

Source: News Express

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