Electoral Act Scales Second Reading In The House

Source: SAINT MUGAGA - thewillnigeria.com

ABUJA, Oct 14, (THEWILL) - The Electoral Act amendment Bill, 2010 today passed through second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives and has been committed to the Joint Committee on Electoral Matters and Inter/Intra Party Relations for further scrutiny.

Leader of the House, Honourable Tunde Akogun while leading the debate on the bill appealed to the lawmakers to give the bill expeditious hearing to give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the instrument to conduct the 2011 general elections.

The motion was seconded by Honourable Stanley Ohajuruku (PDP, Abia) but there was no debate as only one member was allowed to make a presentation by the presiding Deputy Speaker, Honourable Usman Bayero Nafada.

Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Honourable Bala Ibn Na’Allah who was called upon to make a contribution however cautioned that the idea may spell doom for the nation’s democracy, arguing that once there is no internal democracy in the parties, it was as good as the democratic system failing.

“To do this just because of a simple request would not be in the best interest of democracy. If we destroy the internal democracy in parties, we may say bye-bye to democracy,” he warned.

After Honourable Na’Allah’s submission, the Deputy Speaker put to it question and when there was no opposing vote the bill was committed to the committee on INEC and Inter Party Relations.

Section 87[8] of the 2010 Electoral Act had provided that “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of nomination of candidates for any election.”

However, the amendment bill is seeking the complete deletion of the provision from the Act. Section 87[7] has equally been altered to allow the procedure of indirect primaries by parties which okay in its constitution and guidelines.