Saturday, April 18, 2015

13 political parties pull out of Bayelsa Assembly poll today


No fewer than 13 political parties in Bayelsa State, including the All Progressives Congress, have pulled out of the postponed State House of Assembly polls scheduled for Saturday (today).
Alliance for Democracy, Labour Party, Social Democratic Party and Democratic Peoples Party are among the remaining 12 political parties boycotting today’s poll.
The parties, under the aegis of Coalition of Political Parties in Bayelsa, said at a press conference in Yenagoa, on Friday, that they took the decision to boycott the polls because INEC had allegedly colluded with the Peoples Democratic Party to rig the polls.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had last week rescheduled elections in eight constituencies in the state.

The 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.
The communiqué signed by chairmen of the 13 political parties alleged that INEC had entered into concrete agreement with the ruling PDP in the state to undo other political parties.
The parties said, “Their ploy is to hoard all the sensitive electoral materials – result sheets inclusive, such that after the conduct of the election with the non-sensitive materials, the INEC staff, the electoral officer of the eight local governments and other ad-hoc staff in the state will converge on designated places to enter their manufactured results into the original result sheet in favour of the PDP.
“The PDP had perfected an illicit arrangement to use the military to intimidate, harass and muzzle other candidates and genuine voters in a ploy to influence the election in favour of the PDP.

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