The number of political parties in the country is expected to increase from the current figure of 40, it was learnt on Saturday.
60 associations have applied to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be considered for registration as political parties.
Also, another eight groups have asked from the electoral body the necessary information on the modalities for registering political party.
The information was gathered at the two-day Capacity Development Workshop for INEC Press Corps held in Abuja.
Despite listing 40 political parties on ballot papers, less than ten political parties have elected political office holders either at the state or federal level.
These include the two main political parties, the All progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Accord, Social Democratic Party (SDP), Labour Party, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) amongst others.
The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi noted that the commission is already considering the applications and if they meet the required guidelines.
While agreeing that list of the political parties listed are active only when an election is at hand, Oyekanmi however said that the Commission was constrained to delist them as the law does not give it that power.
He noted that since the law did not also put a restriction on the number of political parties than can be registered, INEC therefore does not have the power to stop the registration of any new political party.
He also stressed that at a time the commission attempted to delist non functioning political parties, the court restrained it and hence in accordance to the court ruling, the commission has no power to turn down any group.
He said, ” presently we have 40 political parties in the country. I can tell you that as at Thursday, December 15, sixty associations have approached the commission to be registered.
“Their application is presently attended to and they are in different level of processing.”
Speaking current on the introduction of ICT in the conduct of elections in the country, Oyekanmi said the commission has already did a pilot test with the Kogi governorship election.
He , also noted that by the time ICT is fully introduced, issues of result discrepancies will be reduced drastically as result will be transmitted right from Polling Units (PUs)
He further posited that with ICT, it will also be possible to have a provisional results of any elections, especially general elections within 24 hours.