Senate amends Electoral Act to allow government officials vote at party primaries

The Senate has passed an amendment to Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act 2022, to enable statutory delegates to participate in political parties’ congresses and conventions.

The red chamber claimed it unintentionally omitted the statutory delegates from the version of the Act assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari in February.

The Act, before the amendments, prevented statutory delegates from voting during party primaries.

Statutory delegates are councillors, local government chairmen and their vice, and political party chairmen in all the nation’s 774 local government areas.

They also included State and federal legislators, governors and their deputies, and president and vice-president. Members of the political parties’ National Working Committees (NWCs) and State party chairmen and secretaries also fall in the category.

The Senate amended the clause after considering a Bill sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, during plenary yesterday.

The amendment will now allow statutory delegates, in addition to the delegates elected by various political parties, to vote during congresses and conventions to elect candidates for various political offices.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the “unintended clause” had to be amended before the commencement of party primaries. He also said the House of Representatives would also pass the same amendment today, Wednesday, before transmitting it to the president for assent latest next week.

He further said the amendment had become imperative to ensure that no one was denied his rights during political parties’ activities.

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