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Cablegate: Parties Walk Out On Inec Conference

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

091235Z Mar 04

UNCLAS ABUJA 000405

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM NI
SUBJECT: PARTIES WALK OUT ON INEC CONFERENCE


1. Nigeria,s Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) scheduled a "consultative" meeting with 28 of
Nigeria,s currently registered 30 political parties on March
2 to discuss the national Local Government Area (LGA)
elections coming March 27. Opposition parties reacted to
INEC's excluding of two parties, the Alliance for Democracy
(AD) and Progressive Action Congress (PAC), by walking out.
In his opening remarks, Guobadia said the two parties were
not invited because of disputes between factions as to who
leads them. Each party has two factions claiming to be its
legal leader.

2. Alhaji Balarabe Musa, National Chairman of the People,s
Redemption Party (PRP) and Chairman of the opposition
umbrella Consultative Convention of Nigerian Parties (CCNP),
challenged INEC's exclusion of the two parties as "faulty and
illegal." He was the first to comment on the concerns of the
other parties, stating that the law was clear in allowing the
parties to attend. His characterization of the exclusion as
"a threat to the other parties" was echoed by many of the
other parties' leaders. In the ensuing debate about the
exclusion, 22 parties walked out of the meeting and one of
the two representatives of the largest opposition All
Nigerian People,s Party (ANPP) joined them.

3. The other ANPP representative, former Minister of the
Federal Capital Territory Jeremiah Useni, remained in the
meeting. The other parties that remained are the ruling
People,s Democratic Party (PDP), the New Democrats (ND), the
National Mass Movement of Nigeria (NMMN) and the Africa
Renaissance Party (ARP). PDP and ANPP will field candidates
for most of the LGA seats across the country. The parties
that walked out are somewhat smaller, and the NMMN, ND and
ARP that stayed are smaller yet.
ROBERTS

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