Quest For Automatic Ticket For PDP Senators, Reps Suffer Setback

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ABUJA, May 22, (THEWILL) - Efforts by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the National Assembly to secure automatic return ticket for the 2011 election may have hit the rocks following the death of President Umaru Yar'Adua and resignation of Prince Vincent Ogbulafor as National Chairman of the PDP.

This is coming on the backdrop of feelers that President Goodluck Jonathan may not be disposed to such arrangement.

THEWILL checks revealed that senators and members of the House of Representatives from the PDP had last year opened negotiations with the late president for automatic ticket to run for the election in a bid to return to their seats.

THEWILL also gathered that Yar’Adua was considering yielding to the demand of the legislators before he was flown to Saudi Arabia for medical attention.

Senate President David Mark, who has been leading the campaign for the waiving of primary elections for lawmakers interested in returning to the parliament, has continued to argue that this is in line with best democratic practices all over the world.

Mark is insisting that the legislature will fare better if lawmakers are allowed to stay longer so that the nation will benefit from their wealth of experience.

High turnover of lawmakers at elections he argued results in low legislative productivity as new members would require time to learn and master legislative procedures.

THEWILL gathered that the leadership of the National Assembly has been meeting to present a common front to lobby the President on the issue.

It is believed that the present camaraderie between the National Assembly and the presidency may not be unconnected with this.

Sources hinted that the lawmakers have already opened talks with influential members of the PDP both at state and federal levels on the matter

It is not clear whether President Jonathan would cave in to the demand of the legislators who as federal lawmakers are delegates at the Party’s National Convention and Presidential primaries.