INCUMBENCY FACTOR AND PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA
A FIELD STUDY OF THE 2015 ANAMBRA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
The study examines the role of incumbency factor in the 2015 Anambra State House of Assembly Election. The basic objective is to ascertain the influence of the incumbent on the outcome of the election. In doing this, the study adopted a survey research design wherein a sample was selected from the population of eligible partisan and non-partisan voters of Anambra State and studied and findings generalized. Two statistical hypotheses were employed. The first proposes that, ‘incumbency has great influence on the outcome of the 2015 Anambra State House of Assembly Election’. The second noted thus; ‘incumbency factor hindered the alternation of power between APGA candidates and other political parties’ candidates in the 2015 Anambra State House of Assembly Election’. Structured questionnaire was used to generate data. Simple percentage (%) tabulation table and chi-square (X2) instrument were used in the analysis of result. However, the study discovered that the incumbent exerts serious levels of influence on the outcome of the 2015 Anambra State House of Assembly Election. These were evident in the incumbent unlimited access to state fund, the incumbent responsible for the appointment of the Electoral Officer, constitution of Election Tribunal by the incumbent and provision of security for the election. In the light of this, the study recommends thus; a single tenor for all elective offices and that the electoral laws be amended to discourage the involvement of the executive and legislature in the process of appointing the electoral officers, and the constitution of the Election Tribunals should be done by the National Judiciary Council.