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2019 Elections INEC says there may be over 100 parties contesting at next year's polls

138 political associations have already applied for registration ahead of next year's elections

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No ban on use of smartphones around polling units - INEC play INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu (Guardian)

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that there may be at least 100 political parties contecting for elective positions in the 2019 general elections.

The commission's chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this while speaking at an election stakeholders' summit in Abuja.

He revealed that 138 political associations have applied for registration as proper political parties to join the country's pool of 68 parties ahead of the 2019 elections.

"As at June 8, 2018, we have received requests from 138 associations to register as political parties to join the already 68 registered political parties. So, we may have more than the 68 registered political parties before the 2019 general elections," he said.

While he expressed concern that the additions could prove problematic and have a significant impact on logistics for next year's elections, he explained that the commission lacks powers to stop political associations from applying to register.

INEC's preparations for 2019 elections

Prof Yakubu also disclosed that the commission is working with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to apprehend foreigners who are trying to take part in the voter's registration exercise. He revealed that over 300 foreigners have already been arrested while attempting to register to vote at next year's polls.

He said the commission is also collaborating with security agencies and formulating administrative procedures to check incidences of vote-buying at polling centres

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