Senate Adopts Direct Primaries for political parties in all elective positions

THE Senate has approved that Political parties in Nigeria should adopt direct primaries to all elective positions.

It equally said that the primaries should be monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The approval on Tuesday was sequel to motion for Re- Commital of some Clauses of the Electoral Act No.6 2010( Repeal and Re- enactment) Bill , 2021( SB. 122) to the Committee of the Whole as sponsored by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, All Progress Congress, APC, Kebbi North.

The Senate had earlier approved a provision in the Electoral Bill which allowed parties to use either direct or indirect mode of primaries in nominating candidates for elections during primaries.

The Senate has also agreed that INEC can now determine the mode of transmission of results during elections, including electronic transmission or manual transmission.

Abdullahi in his lead debate said that the amendment to Clause 87( 1) Nomination of candidates by parties, read, “A political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Bill shall hold direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which shall be monitored by the Commission”.

This is different from the earlier adopted one which read, ” 87(1) A Political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Act shall hold direct or Indirect primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which may be monitored by the Commission.”

Abdullahi said, “Recalls that the Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 (Repeal and re-enactment) Bill, 2021 was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“Observes that after critical examination of the Bill by the Senate Committee on INEC, some fundamental issues which require fresh legislative action on the following clauses – 43, 52, 63, and 87 were observed.

“Desirous of the need to address the observation by the Committee and make necessary amendments; and “Relying on order 1(b) and 53(6) of Senate Standing Order.

“Accordingly resolves to: Rescind its decision on the affected Clauses of the Bill as passed and re-commit same to the Committee of the Whole for consideration and passage.”

Order 1(b) of the Senate Standing Orders reads: “In all cases not provided for hereinafter or by Session or other Orders or practice of the Senate shall by Resolution regulate its procedure.

Also, Order 53(6) of the Senate Standing Orders reads: “It shall be out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific question upon which the Senate has come to a conclusion during the current session except upon a substantive motion for rescission.”

The approval followed an amendment to Clause 52(3) of the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North) during the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Committee’s had initially recommended in in Clause 52(3) that, “The Commission (INEC) may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.”

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