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National Assembly okays new Electoral Act• INEC to decide sequence of elections

Posted by By JAMES OJO and ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Abuja. on 2006/06/01 | Views: 424 |

National Assembly okays new Electoral Act• INEC to decide sequence of elections


Barely two weeks after the third term agenda collapsed, the National Assembly on Wednesday passed the long awaited Electoral Bill 2006 setting a new stage for 2007 general elections. One of the highlights of the new Act is that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would decide sequence of elections.

Barely two weeks after the third term agenda collapsed, the National Assembly on Wednesday passed the long awaited Electoral Bill 2006 setting a new stage for 2007 general elections. One of the highlights of the new Act is that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would decide sequence of elections.

The passage followed the adoption of the reports of the Joint Conference Committee that harmonized the differences in the bill passed by both chambers three months ago.
With the passage of the bill into law, the Electoral Act 2002 would cease to be in operation as soon as President Olusegun Obasanjo signs the new Act.

The bill did not encounter hiccups, as it went through normal debate in the House of Representatives, whereas in the Senate, some senators nearly sent it back to the conference committee having pointed out certain ambiguities in clauses.

Senator Farouk Bello (ANPP) from Kebbi State pointed out that the word “ time being” as contained in the clause prohibiting the use of electronic voting machine was ambiguous, saying that the period should have been stated clearly.

On the other hand, Senator Saidu Dansadau (ANPP) Zamfara was of the view that although the Senate might have no choice than to adopt the report, the House of Reps’ version of Clause 53 (I) (b) should be adopted and that since the House sits in the afternoon on Wednesday, same should be communicated to it so that a common position would be taken.

He read the version of the House of Reps that states that “the use of electronic voting system or machine or any other method other than the method prescribed in sub clause (1) (a) of this section is prohibited.”
But chairman of the conference committee, Senator David Brigidi, (PDP) Bayelsa said that the committee had considered the version of the House of Reps but failed to adopt it because that would invalidate the voters’ registration earlier conducted by the INEC, which would amount to asking INEC to repeat the exercise again.

In the new law, 150 days was adopted as the time lag for the issuance of notice of an election by INEC, while six months was allowed for registration and merger of political parties before the general elections.
The new law was, however, silent on sequence of elections owing to a Supreme Court’s pronouncement. It was left for INEC to decide.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.