The National Assembly has re-amended the Electoral Act Amendment Bill on Wednesday and approved both direct and indirect primaries.

 

Both chambers made the re-amendment in separate plenary sessions.

In the Senate, the lawmakers also added the consensus clause for the nomination of candidates by political parties for elective positions.

 

Special Assistant on Press to the Senate President, Ezrel Tabiowo, in a statement on Wednesday said, “The chamber in Clause 84(2) of the report, approved direct, indirect primaries or consensus as procedure for the nomination of candidates by political parties for the various elective positions.

 

“The Senate also approved in Clause 84(3) that a political party that adopts the direct primaries procedure shall ensure that all aspirants are given equal opportunity of being voted for by members of the party.

 

“Clause 84(4) further provides that a political party that adopts the system of indirect primaries for the choice of its candidate shall adopt the procedure outlined below; (a) In the case of nominations to the position of Presidential candidate, a political party shall, (i) hold special conventions in each of the 36 states of the federation and FCT, where delegates shall vote for each of the aspirants at designated centres in each state capital on specified dates.”

 

The clause provides that a national convention shall be held for the ratification of the candidate with the highest number of votes.

 

The amendment followed a motion sponsored by Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North), for its re-committal to the committee of the whole.

 

But at the House of Representatives, the legislators removed the consensus option.

They had gone into a closed-door session after which the chamber became rowdy. 

 

The reason for this was, however, not known as the lawmakers gathered in clusters.

 

Wednesday’s move was the latest in the series of events that have trailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent to the bill.

 

Buhari in a letter to the Senate President Ahmad Lawan had said signing the bill into law would have serious adverse legal, financial, economic and security consequences on the country, particularly in view of Nigeria’s peculiarities.

 

He added that it would also impact negatively on the rights of citizens to participate in government as constitutionally ensured.

 

This was after he was advised by relevant ministries, departments and agencies of government, who had a thorough review of the bill.

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