Why Buhari Refused To Sign The Electoral Bill The Second Time
The battle line has
since been drawn between the presidency and the national assembly on the electoral
But it appears, the first shot may soon be fired.
So, President Muhammadu Buhari has again refused to assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, said this on Monday in a statement titled, ‘Presidential decision to decline assent to Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018.’
The development comes less than six months after the President rejected the first one.
According to Enang, the President has already communicated his decision in letters sent to the two chambers of the National Assembly.
Enang said the President was declining assent to the bill due to some “drafting issues that remain unaddressed following the prior revisions to the bill.”
The statement added: “There is a cross-referencing error in the proposed amendment to Section 18 of the Bill. The appropriate amendment is to substitute the existing sub-section (2) with the proposed subsection (1A), while the proposed sub-section (1B) is the new sub-section (2A).”
The President’s aide said there was also an issue with the conduct of primaries by political parties and the dates they should submit names of their candidates to INEC.
Enang said if signed into law as it is, INEC would have only nine days to collate and compile lists of candidates in the 91 political parties.
He said, “The proposed amendment to include a new Section 87 (14) which stipulates a specific period within which political party primaries are required to be held has the unintended consequence of leaving INEC with only nine days to collate and compile lists of candidates and political parties as well as manage the primaries of 91 political parties for the various elections.
“This is because the Electoral Amendment bill does not amend sections 31, 34 and 85, which stipulates times for the submission of lists of candidates, publication of lists of candidates and notice of convention, congresses for nominating candidates for elections."
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