Thirty-seven out of the 40 registered political parties in Enugu State have unanimously adjudged the Saturday’s Local Government Elections in the state as free, fair and credible and in conformity with the minimum requirements of international best practices.
Addressing a press conference in Enugu, the political parties in a statement signed by their state chairmen, which was read by the Chairman of Social Democratic Party and leader of the group, Barr. John Nwobodo, in the presence of others, congratulated the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) for the peaceful, free and fair conduct of the elections across the 260 electoral wards of the state.
The political parties stated that their first hand observations of the election in every part of the state showed that the exercise was “free, fair and credible”, commending ENSIEC for “its neutrality and impartiality throughout the period, beginning with the issuance of notice of elections on August 1, 2017”.
The group also applauded Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for providing the enabling environment and “needed support and funding to the commission to discharge its constitutional mandate without any interference whatsoever”.
The political parties noted that “never in the history of Local Government Elections in Enugu has there been a commission that leaves its door open to the political parties”, adding that the electoral body was “accessible to the political parties and much more they were receptive to superior arguments”.
“We acknowledge that the commission yielded to all the demands of the 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 certificate, and on other grounds”.
They also congratulated the candidates who emerged victorious at the polls as Chairmen and Councillors as well as those who lost, saying: “Without the losers in the contest, there would be no real yardstick to measure or assess our democratic progress”.
According to them, “we implore the winners to be magnanimous in victory and extend hands of fellowship, and the losers should demonstrate sportsmanship and reckon that we are all one, notwithstanding our various party affiliations”.