NASS passes amended Electoral Bill, adopts consensus approach

NASS passes amended Electoral Bill, adopts consensus approach

The National Assembly (NASS) has passed the amended and harmonised version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

The harmonised version, passed by the NASS during Tuesday’s plenary, January 25; is the final agreed version between the Senate and House of Representatives; on the amendment to Clause 84 of the bill.

It includes the direct, indirect, as well as consensus primary modes; of nominating candidates by political parties for elections.

The NASS re-amendment was sequel to a motion on “rescission on clause 84 of the Electoral Act No. 26 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and Committal to the Committee of the Whole” sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the amendment to the electoral bill by the Committee of the Whole; said the re-amendment was done to harmonise the lawmakers’ position with that of the House of Representatives.

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According to him, the amendment accommodates clearly define provisions for the mode of primaries. He is also hopeful that the bill will be signed into law; when transmitted by the National Assembly to the President for assent.

Lawan, however, warned that political parties that fail or refuse to abide by the provisions on the mode of primaries; would also miss out on the opportunity to participate during elections.

“On the mode of conducting primaries by parties to produce candidates; we have concluded our task on the amendment to the Electoral Act No. 6 2010 Bill,” he said.

“You would recall that the Senate and the House passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill with a slight difference.

“While the House passed the mode of primaries to be direct and indirect only, the Senate passed the mode of primaries to be direct, indirect and consensus. What we have done is to give a very clear and sufficient definition to each mode of primaries.

“The direct primaries are well defined on how it will be conducted; ditto the indirect primaries. And for the consensus, the two chambers have produced in this bill, a very clear definition of how a consensus candidate would emerge. Therefore, we are very glad that we have been able to achieve this consensus between the two chambers to arrive at this harmoniSed version, and we are also very optimistic that Mr President will sign the bill.

“Our desire is to ensure that we reform the electoral processes in Nigeria for better transparency, accountability and Integrity to the satisfaction of Nigerians and the international community. Political parties, when this is signed into law, will have the responsibility of ensuring that they follow the law, otherwise, they will end up missing the opportunity to participate in elections.”

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