*Also Approves Direct Primaries for Nomination of Party Candidates
THE upper chamber of the National Assembly has given the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the enablement to determine its mode of transmitting election result.
The senate gave the authority in a plenary on Tuesday after passing the amendment to a number of all the clauses in the bill which formally authorized the electoral umpire to transmit result either electronically or manually.
The senate considered clauses 43, 52, 63 and 87 of the 2021 Electoral Bill before finally giving the nod. However, the approval followed a rancorous section in which the disagreement over clause 52(3) almost literally pitched emotions in the upper chamber as law makers expressed strong divergent views.
Whereas certain law makers kicked against the amendment that empowered INEC to determine the mode of transmitting election results, others insisted there it has to be. Amidst the strong divergent positions however, the law makers resorted to conder the amendment clause.
Seemingly becoming intractable, with those opposed to the bill initially having the edge, the minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, challenged the outcome and called for Order 73-division of the house, which the speaker sustained. In the end, the upper house came up with a final draft for approval.
“Subject to Section 63 of this Bill, voting at an election and transmission of results under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission.” the bill read in part.
The senate also reviewed the process of picking candidates by political parties. Whereas the parties were hitherto at liberty to decide which, between the direct, indirect or concensus approaches, the new order has mandidated all political parties to only use the direct primaries.