NASS Okays Electronic Transmission of Results, Passes Electoral Act Amendment Bill

NASS Okays Electronic Transmission of Results, Passes Electoral Act Amendment Bill

PDP Kicks Against Direct Primaries Bowing to public pressure, the National Assembly has passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill which empowers the Independent National Electoral Commission to transmit election results electronically. This is a major leap in Nigeria’s electoral reform process, as it has the potential to boost transparency in collation of election results and

PDP Kicks Against Direct Primaries

Bowing to public pressure, the National Assembly has passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill which empowers the Independent National Electoral Commission to transmit election results electronically.

This is a major leap in Nigeria’s electoral reform process, as it has the potential to boost transparency in collation of election results and reduce interference and manipulation of results often reported at various collation centers during elections.

The amended bill was passed separately by the Senate and the House of Representatives soon after the lawmakers resumed plenary after a three-week recess.

A seven-man conference committee had been constituted by the Upper chamber to meet with members of the House of Representatives Conference Committee to harmonise the differences in the Senate and House versions of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

On October 12, the Senate had bowed to pressure and giving the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the sole power to determine the mode of transmission of results.

This followed the reversal of its earlier decision that INEC may consider the electronic transmission of results “provided national [network] coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure” by the Nigerian Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly.

Under a new amendment of Clause 52 (2) of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the Senate resolved that “voting at an election and transmission of results under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission, which may include electronic voting”.

Shortly after the Senate’s approval, the House of Representatives also passed the bill, completing the process of amending the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Meanwhile the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted sharply to the passed bill. In a statement on Tuesday, the Party said it has received the news of the passage of the harmonized electoral act amendment bill, which provided for direct primaries for nomination of candidates for elections by political parties.

Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the party in the statement noted that the party believes that it is the inalienable right of each political party, within the context of our constitutional democracy, to decide its form of internal democratic practices including the processes of nominating its candidates for elections at any level.

According to him, PDP also believed that no political party should force its own processes on any other political party as the direct primaries amendment, a practice of the All Progressives Congress (APC), sought to achieve.

He said the PDP shall, within the next 48 hours, make its final decision in respect of this amendment known

Ayo Aluko-Olokun
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