Electoral Commission: Meaning And Characteristics

Meaning Of Electoral Commission
An Independent Electoral Commission is a body charged with the responsibility of conducting election. In Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has the responsibility of conducting elections to the Federal and State Legislatures.
Characteristics Of Electoral Commission
The essential characteristics of an Independent Electoral Commission are:
1. An Independent Electoral Commission is expected to be politically neutral and therefore non-partisan.
2. Members of the Commission must be people of integrity and transparent honesty.
3. The Commission should be independent. The government in power or any other group for that matter should therefore not control it.
4. To ensure the independence of action of the Commission, the members should enjoy a fixed and secure term of office. They should not be removed except as a result of abuse of office.
5. Also to ensure the independence of the Commission the salaries of the members should be charged to the Consolidated Fund.
Why The Electorate Elect Their Leaders
It is necessary for the electorate to elect their leaders in order:
1. To ensure peaceful change of government.
2. To exercise the political sovereignty of the people.
3. To encourage political participation of the people.
4. To ensure periodic accountability of the leaders.
5. To confer legitimacy on the leaders. This legitimacy is ensured by the choice of the people.