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A civil rights advocacy group, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) on Wednesday berated the National Assembly for abandoning a critical national issue as the controversial Electoral Act Amendment Bill and proceeding on holidays. The group, therefore, demanded the two chambers of the National Assembly to convene an emergency special session in the shortest possible time, despite their end-of-year break, to consider a vote for the passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021.
The Executive Director of PLAC, Clement Nwankwo, in a statement noted that while the mode of conduct of political party primaries, whether by direct or indirect primaries, has significant impact on grassroots participation in politics, the National Assembly may need to address the concerns expressed by President Muhammadu Buhari and amend the Electoral Bill to reflect the President’s singular concern with direct primaries, in order to save the other landmark reforms contained in the Electoral Bill 2021.
Nwankwo pointed out that the current Electoral Bill has tried to resolve a number of outstanding issues in the electoral system, such as providing legal backing for the use of voting devices and the electronic transmission of election results, as well as improved voting procedure for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).
The Executive Director protested that rather than seeking to expand and continue to build on the improvements made to the electoral system, present day political leaders have insisted on pursuing actions that derogate from the progress recorded so far, by refusing to agree to improved laws that seek to enhance Nigeria’s electoral system.
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