New Electoral Act will provide for independent candidate—Deputy Speaker
Hon Yussuf Lasun, Deputy Speaker, House of Reps
The House of Representatives Adhoc- committee on Constitution Review said it has made a strong case for independent candidacy in the next general election.
The Chairman of the Committee and Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives made this known in Abuja on Monday while speaking at the public hearing on a Bill seeking to further amend the Electoral Act.
He explained that “independent candidacy must be given its pride of place in our constitution and we’ve done that in the review we are conducting now.”
“Earlier in his address, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara told the
stakeholders to be conscious of the effects of the proposed12 amendments to the 2010 Electoral Act as amended.
He said “the twelve Bills before us this morning, seeking to amend the Electoral Act are a
consequence of our election experiences as a nation including the 2015 General Elections”.
“Experience has shown that good electoral system governed by an efficient and effective
legal framework is an inescapable prerequisite for the conduct of free, fair and credible election, enthronement of good governance which will ensure peace and stability in the polity”, he maintained.
“Conversely, it is a globally established fact that a flawed electoral system is a huge
threat to any democracy and can constitute an invitation to anarchy. While we continue to acknowledge the reasonable improvements recorded during the 2015 general elections in Nigeria where the ruling political party lost the elections and accepted the outcome of the process, we cannot pretend that the election was without flaws some of which bordered on lacunae in the legal framework.
He cited the case of the Kogi State Governorship election in which a candidate died after the ballot but before the declaration of results as a classical example of such limitations in the Electoral Act, among others, that required reform in the law.
The issue of legal framework for electronic accreditation, (Card Reader); Electronic Voting
and announcement of Election Results; the place of INEC Guidelines/ Regulations vis a vis the Procedure for elections contained in the Electoral Act itself, Diaspora Voting, the role of Political Parties in the nomination process, etc as some of the matters that should be settled in time before the 2019 General Elections.
“This Public Hearing is therefore of critical importance in settling these questions. Permit me
to use this opportunity also to implore the Ad-Hoc Committee on Constitution Review to also be guided by the need to conclude all Constitutional amendments or alterations
relating to electoral matters early enough in order to give the Election Management Body, INEC, enough time to plan the2019 General Elections.
In his own presentation, Chairman Interparty Advisory Council,( IPAC), Mohammed Namado
said “there’s need to build stronger democratic institutions which will go a long way in improving internal democracy which is lacking in most political parties ahead of 2019 general elections.”