Electoral Act: Senate reverses self, okays direct, indirect mode of primary elections

The Senate on Wednesday rescinded its decision that political parties must use the only direct mode of primary in nominating candidates for elections.

It resolved that parties are now free to use either direct or indirect primary in nominating candidates in line with the objections raised by President Muhammadu Buhari when he rejected the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill in December 2021.

This followed a motion titled: “Withholding of Assent on Electoral Act No. 6 2010 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2021 and its re-committal to the Committee of the Whole.”

The motion was sponsored by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, at the plenary.

Abdullahi in his lead debate said: “Senate: Recalls that the President C-in-C had signified the withholding of his assent on the Electoral Act No. 6 2010 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2021 which was passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to the President for Assent on Thursday, 18th November 2021;

“Desirous of the need to address the observation by Mr. President C-in-C and make necessary amendment in accordance with Order 87(C) of the Senate Standing Orders, 2022 (as amended); and

“Relying on order 1(b) and 52(6) of the Senate Standing Orders, 2022 (as amended).”

Following his presentation, the Senate, Accordingly resolve to: “Rescind its decision on the affected Clause of the Bill as passed and re-commit same to the Committee of the Whole for consideration.”

The Senate in the Committee of the Whole, adopted Clause 84 of the bill which reads “A political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Act shall hold direct or indirect primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which may be monitored by the Commission.”


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