Electoral Bill: Senate, Reps bow to Buhari, backtrack on direct primaries

The National Assembly has backtracked on the direct primaries clause it included in the Electoral Amendment Bill rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The lawmakers had earlier hinted despite having the power to override the president would not be doing such and instead would amend the bill based on the president’s observations.

The president in a letter informing the NASS of why he refused to sign the Bill raised concerns that the parties have their various constitutions that indicate that primaries should be conducted either directly or indirectly.

He also noted that until such provisions are amended, asking parties to do that through direct means would mean forcing the parties to conduct primaries through direct means amounts to abuse of the constitution of the party.

The senate in its review of the Bill approved direct, indirect and consensus primaries for candidate nomination while the house of representatives approved direct and indirect primaries.

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Meanwhile, Nigerians, on Twitter, had asked the National Assembly to override President Muhammadu Buhari on the Electoral Bill, in a NewsWireNGR Poll.

In a Twitter poll conducted ahead of YIAGA’s town hall meeting on the Electoral Bill, 65.4% of the respondents asked the National Assembly to override the president.

Twitter users were asked, “Should NASS override the President or allow parties select between direct or indirect primaries?

The poll options were; “YES, Override the President. NO, Allow Political Parties to select between direct or indirect primaries.”

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