Reps pass electoral act bill, concur Senate on consensus primaries

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill (through third reading) into law. With the passage, the proposed legislation is set for transmission to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

The passage was after the concurrence of the Senate version of the bill which provided for the consensus mode of primary election for the nomination of candidates for election by political parties.

The bill, which was declined assent by President Buhari in late 2021, citing encumbrances of the compulsory direct primary mode provision, was amended by the Senate and House last week.

While the House had approved direct and indirect mode of primary election for the nomination of candidates by political parties, the Senate, in addition, included the consensus method.

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The Electoral Act Bill stipulated that: “A political party that adopts a consensus candidate shall secure the written consent of all cleared aspirants for the position indicating their voluntary withdrawal from the race and their endorsement of the consensus candidate.

“Where a political party is unable to secure the written consent of all aspirants for the purpose of a consensus candidate, it shall revert to the choice of direct or indirect primaries for the nomination of candidates for the aforesaid elective position.

“A special convention or nomination congress shall be held to ratify the choice of consensus candidates at designated centres at the national, states, senatorial, federal and state constituencies as the case may be.”

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