Electoral Act (amendment) Bill: NASS passes harmonised Bill with direct, indirect, consensus modes of party primaries

The National Assembly has passed the harmonised version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

The harmonised version, passed by the lawmakers during yesterday’s plenary, 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, and consensus primary modes of nominating candidates by political parties for elections.

The 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 Bill had earlier been rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari over lack of diversity in nomination of candidates.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the amendment to the 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.

He explained that both chambers have agreed in the harmonised Bill to give a clear and sufficient definition for each mode of primaries and how they are to be conducted.

He added that for consensus methods, the two chambers have produced a very clear definition of how a consensus candidate will emerge.

According to him, the amendment accommodates clearly define provisions for the mode of primaries and expressed his hope 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 miss out on the opportunity to participate during elections.

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