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BREAKING: Senate, House Of Rep Removes Direct Primary Clause, Passes Electoral Act

Nigeria Senate on Wednesday removed the clause that makes direct primary mandatory for the election of candidates in political parties from the electoral amendment act.

The House has now amended Clause 84 to allow for direct, indirect, and consensus options of nominating party candidates for party elections.

At the resumption of its session on Wednesday, the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abubakar, asked his colleagues to rescind the Chamber’s decision on clause 84 which was passed last year.

On giving a nod to the request, the Senate amended Clause 84 to now allow for direct, indirect, and consensus options for nominating candidates for the various political parties in the country.

The Senate in late 2021 passed a version of the bill and transmitted it to President Muhammadu Buhari who declined assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Buhari said that the mandatory use of direct primaries for all political parties in the country will be too expensive to execute, saying that it will put a financial burden on Nigeria’s slim resources.

He also expressed fears that the proposed mandatory use of direct primaries will amount to the violation of citizens’ rights will be violated and will lead to marginalisation for smaller political parties.

Buhari advised the National Assembly to look into the areas of concern and transmit the bill to him for assent.

House of Representatives speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and Senate president Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday said the National Assembly will work on the proposed legislation and send it to Buhari.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said it will not release an election timetable until the electoral act amendment has been concluded.

“On the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before the National Assembly, the commission is encouraged by the Senate President’s assurance to give priority attention to the Bill when the National Assembly reconvenes from its recess today, and the commitment by the President to assent to the Bill as soon as the issue of mode of primaries by political parties is resolved,” INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu said in Abuja.

Electoral Act Amendment Bill: Reps yield to President Muhammadu Buhari, allow political parties to choose between direct and indirect primaries.

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Update on Electoral Bill 2021: The @NGRSenate & @HouseNGR have reviewed and passed the clause on party primaries. While the Senate approved direct, indirect and consensus for candidate nomination, the House approved only direct and indirect primaries. #fixelectionsng

With the @NGRSenate and @HouseNGR passing different versions of Clause 84 on party primaries, both chambers will go into conference to harmonize their position before re-transmiting the bill to the President for assent. #fixelectionsng

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