Electoral Bill: Senate moves to impose direct primaries on political parties

There are indications that the leadership of the Senate has commenced moves to force only the direct method of conducting primary elections on political parties.

Part of the moves, according to sources, are plans by the All Progressives Congress, (APC), lawmakers to bring to the floor of the Senate direct primary as an Amendment Bill to be passed, using their numerical strength.

The current system allows political parties to use either direct or indirect methods of conducting primary elections.

Both chambers have already passed how parties will conduct their primaries, in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

While the House of Representatives’ version of the bill has direct primaries, the Senate passed both direct and indirect methods.

Conference committees had been set up to harmonise grey areas in the Bill. However, members of the House committee were said to have agreed with the Senate on both the direct and indirect methods.

A source familiar with the workings of the harmonisation panel said there have been moves to tinker with the decision.

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