The drafters of electoral laws envisaged political parties’ cooperation is necessary for well-intended proponents. Chiefly, the Political Parties Act 2011 (PPA) recognises coalitions and mergers, respectively in Sections 10 and 11, as the legal avenues for that.
In the PPA, read with related laws and resultant regulations, a coalition is defined as an alliance of two or more political parties with a common goal governed by a written agreement deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties.
A merger is an amalgamation of two or more political parties where the parties consolidate operations, human capital, assets and liabilities to form a new party or merge into an existing party. In a merger, the forming party is recognised as a new political entity with full complement of corporate identifiers and fresh registration certification by the registrar.
The PPA outlines specificities for pre-life, life and wind-up of coalitions and mergers as spelt out in Sec. 10 and third schedule for coalitions and Sec. 11 (mergers). They are managed by written and duly executed agreements as legal instruments with the registrar as the custodian.
It is, hence, necessary in the conception, execution and living up to the expectations of formations that leaders, being the trustees of their representative, to involve through established avenues the members, a critical stake in the parties.
The formations should also be seen by word and deed as promoting the broadening of democratic space for political participation, grounding even to the grassroots their converging ideological disposition, showcasing good governance models to other political parties and many more aspirations spelt out under Articles 38, 91 and 92 of the Constitution.
Being right at the crux of a “season” for political realignments as the country gears up to the 2022 General Elections, it is time these formations are moulded to provide a wide and good pool of choice ahead of time for the electorate.