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Federal Lawmakers Harmonise Electoral Bill, Agrees On Consensus Mode Of Primary

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The Senate and the House of Representatives have harmonised their positions on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2010.

Both Chambers of the National Assembly agreed that “consensus” should be part of the mode of nominating candidates by political parties for elections.

This followed a motion titled: “Rescission on Clause 84 of the Electoral Act No.6 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and Committal to the Committee of the Whole” moved at plenary by Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the position represents a harmonised version of the Electoral Bills passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Lawan added that the details of how the consensus option of primary would be used by political parties have been spelt out in the Bill.

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He expressed hope that President Muhammadu Buhari would sign the Bill when presented to him for assent.

Senate Leader, Abdullahi, in his lead debate, said the Senate: “Recalls that the on Wednesday, 19 January, 2022, Section 84 of the Electoral Act No.6 2010 (Amendment) Bill was reconsidered in the Committee of the Whole following the withholding of Assent by the President C-inC with observations;

“Observes that some fundamental issues which require fresh legislative action by both Chambers of & National Assembly emerged on the Clause.

“These necessitated a Joint leadership meeting, in order to give Nigerians an enduring Electoral Act that can stand the test of time; and

“Relying on order 1(b) and order 52(6) of Senate Standing Order, 2022 as amended.

“Accordingly resolves to: Rescind its decision on the affected Clause of the Bill as passed and re-commit same to the Committee of the Whole for re-consideration and passage.”

The lone prayer in motion was approved by the Senate when it was put to voice vote by Lawan during the Committee of the Whole.

READ ALSO: Reworked Electoral Bill: Senate, House differ on consensus option
Lawan said: “Clause 84: Nomination of candidates by political parties. And this is a harmonised report.

“The House has the same report. Bypassing the amendment to 84, the mode of conducting primaries by parties to produce candidates, we have concluded on our task on the amendment to the Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 Bill.

“You will recall that the Senate and the House passed the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill with slight difference.

“While the House passed the mode of primaries to be direct and indirect only, the Senate a passed the mode of primaries to be direct, indirect and consensus.

“What we have done is to give very clear and sufficient definition to each mode of primaries.

“The direct primary is well defined and how it will be conducted. Ditto the indirect primaries. And for the consensus, the two Chambers have produced in this bill, very clear definition of how the 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.

“When this is signed into law, political parties would have the responsibility of ensuring that they follow the law.

“Otherwise, they will end up missing the opportunity to participate in elections.”

Hammed Tajudeen is the editor in-chief of Blaze News, holds Higher National Diploma(HND) in Mass Communication, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.

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