Journalism of Courage

NASS passes amended 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill, to send copy to Buhari for assent

The Senate deleted the contentious direct primary clause in the amended version, while the House of Representatives approved direct and indirect primary clauses as a mode of electing candidates by political parties for general elections.

 

 

 

 

By Ajuma Edwina Ameh

 

Barely a month after President Muhammadu Buhari rejected the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill, both chambers of the National Assembly on Wednesday at plenary considered the bill and passed it.

 

The Senate deleted the contentious direct primary clause in the amended version, while the House of Representatives approved direct and indirect primary clauses as a mode of electing candidates by political parties for general elections.

 

Persecondnews.com reports that Section 84(2) of the controversial Bill which was rejected by the President had replaced Section 87(2) of the existing Act of 2010, which makes it mandatory for all parties to conduct their primaries using the direct primary model.

  

On November 9, 2021, the Senate and House of Representatives, had passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill and also approved the electronic transmission of results by INEC.

 

However, on December 20, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari, withheld assent to it because of the mandatory conduct of direct primaries by political parties.

 

According to the President, it might pose serious financial, legal and security challenges to the parties.

 

Buhari promised to assent to the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill only if the National Assembly make necessary changes in it.

 

The president said the changes should include the addition of consensus candidates and indirect primary options to the mode of selecting a candidate for an election as against the initial direct mode.

 

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