House of Reps adopts direct and indirect primaries

 

The House of Representatives, yesterday, settled for the version of the recommitted Electoral Amendment Bill passed by the Senate last week, after its initial position not to cave in.

In the passed amendment, yesterday, provisions which clearly defined the mode of primaries for political parties were stated.

President Buhari, had rejected the Electoral Act Amendment Bill last December, because the National Assembly made direct primary, the only mode of nominating candidates for elective positions.

The re-amendment was sequel to a motion on “rescission on clause 84 of the Electoral Act No. 26 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and Committal to the Committee of the Whole” sponsored by Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the amendment to the Electoral Bill by the Committee of the Whole, said the re-amendment was done to harmonise its position with that of the House of Representatives.

He added that the amendment accommodates clearly defined provisions for the mode of primaries by political parties.

Lawan expressed optimism that the bill would be signed into law when transmitted by the National Assembly to President Buhari for his assent.

He warned that political parties that fail or refuse to abide by the provisions on the mode of primaries, would miss out on the opportunity to participate during elections.

“On the mode of conducting primaries by parties to produce candidates, we have concluded our task on the amendment to the Electoral Act No. 6 2010 Bill. You would recall that the Senate and the House passed the Electoral Act amendment Bill with slight difference. While the House passed the mode of primaries to be direct and indirect only, the Senate passed the mode of primaries to be direct, indirect and consensus. What we have done is to give very clear and sufficient definition to each mode of primaries.

“The direct primaries is well define on how it will be conducted; ditto the indirect primaries. And for the consensus, the two chambers have produced in this Bill, very clear definition of how a consensus candidate would emerge. Therefore, we are very glad that we have been able to achieve this consensus between the two chambers to arrive at this harmonised version, and we are also very optimistic that Mr. President will sign the bill.”

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila at the resumption of plenary, yesterday, said it was imperative for the House, to also include consensus, as a means of nominating candidates in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, so as to avoid the chambers going for conferencing over the proposed legislation.

 

(Sun)

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