Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Senate approves electronic results transmission, direct primaries for political parties

The direct primaries for party aspirants to elective positions shall be monitored by INEC.

• October 12, 2021

The Senate on Tuesday approved for registered political parties to use direct primaries in arriving at candidates for their elective positions.

A look at Clause 87 of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill states that, “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.”

The Senate also empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the mode of transmission of election results, whether manually or electronically.

Under Clause 52 (2) of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the senate resolved that “voting at an election and transmission of results under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission, which may include electronic voting”.

The amendments followed a 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 by Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi.

Earlier in July during the passage of the Act, the lawmakers had said that INEC could only consider the electronic transmission of results “provided the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the National Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly,” a decision that was trailed with public criticism.

The upper chamber had also adopted direct and indirect primaries at the time, while the lower chamber adopted technology “where practicable” and recommended direct primary.

The Senate would later set up a seven-member conference committee to harmonise its position with that of the House of Representatives on the electronic transmission of results.

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