NASS re-amends direct Electoral Act Amendment Bill, okays direct and indirect primaries

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The National Assembly has re-amended the Electoral Act Amendment Bill on Wednesday and approved both direct and indirect primaries. Both chambers made the re-amendment in separate plenary sessions. In the Senate, the lawmakers also added the consensus clause for the nomination of candidates by political parties for elective positions.

In a statement, the upper chamber equally noted that “a political party that adopts the direct primaries procedure shall ensure that all aspirants are given equal opportunity of being voted for by members of the party”.

On Clause 84(4), it read that “a political party that adopts the system of indirect primaries for the choice of its candidate shall adopt the procedure outlined below; (a) In the case of nominations to the position of Presidential candidate, a political party shall, (i) hold special conventions in each of the 36 states of the federation and FCT, where delegates shall vote for each of the aspirants at designated centers in each State Capital on specified dates.”

But at the House of Representatives, the legislators removed the consensus option. They had gone into a closed-door session after which the chamber became rowdy. The reason for this was, however, not known as the lawmakers gathered in clusters. Wednesday’s move is the latest in the series of events that have trailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s decline of assent to the bill.

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