Monday, October 25, 2021

Senate retrogressive, direct primaries will increase political parties’ costs: PDP

PDP says the passage of direct primary for the nomination of candidates for elections in political parties by the Senate will increase the costs of nomination procedures.

• October 13, 2021

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the passage of direct primary for the nomination of candidates for elections in political parties by the Senate will increase the costs of nomination procedures and a retrogressive step by the Senate.

Kola Ologbondiyan, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, stated this in a statement issued on Wednesday, describing the decision of the Senate as retrogressive, capable of wiping off all the gains achieved in Nigeria’s electoral practice since 1999.

“The PDP holds that the provision is aimed at increasing the costs of nomination procedures, thereby surrendering the processes to money bags against the wishes and aspiration of Nigerians,” the statement said.

The party added that many political parties would hardly be able to raise the cost of conducting internal elections under a direct primary process.

“The PDP, therefore, urges the Senate to immediately deploy its appropriate legislative instruments to reverse itself on the direct primary as it is not practicable,” it added.

The Senate on Tuesday, at its plenary, approved direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions.

This followed the consideration and approval of a motion on ‘Re-Committal of Some Clauses of the Electoral Act repeal and Re-enactment Bill 2021’, passed on July 15.

The Senate explained that the decision to subject the amended clauses of the bill to re-committal was reached after critical examination by the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It added that the Kabiru Gaya-led committee observed fundamental issues which required fresh legislative action in the bill.

The Senate approved Clause 87 to read, “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The Senate also rescinded its July decision, which empowered the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) to determine the suitability of transmission of results, subject to the approval of the National Assembly.

At the Tuesday plenary, it empowered INEC to determine the procedure for transmitting results during the general elections.

Members of the Conference Committee on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021 are expected to meet with their counterparts in the House of Representatives to harmonise the two versions passed by both chambers.


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