Senate rejects President Buhari’s request to delete clause ‘disenfranchising’ appointees in electoral act

Avatar admin | March 9, 2022 2 Views 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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The Nigerian Senate today rejected President Buhari’s request for the house to delete the clause in the newly-signed electoral act that in his opinion disenfranchises political appointees.

During the signing of the bill on February 25, President Buhari had criticized the section, which he said “constitutes a disenfranchisement of serving political office holders.”

Section 84 (12) states that “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”

In his letter to the Senate, President Buhari said that the amendment of the bill was needed as the clause constitutes a fundamental defect and leads to the disenfranchisement of political officeholders.

In his view, the section disenfranchises serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at conventions or congresses of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election in cases where it holds earlier than 30 days to the national election. The President argued that the provision introduced qualification and disqualification criteria that ultra vires the Constitution by way of importing blanket restrictions to serving political officeholders.

During its plenary session today, The lawmakers in a voice vote, rejected the amendment of the bill. Many of the senators who contributed to the debate on the bill, kicked against the amendment.

On his part, Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Senate minority leader, said it was not in the interest of democracy.

“I urge my colleagues not to allow this bill be read the second time,” Abaribe said.


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