Presidential Election to Come Last as National Assembly Adopts Reordered Sequence of Election

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BY OBUTE JAMES

The National Assembly
Conference Committee on
Electoral Act (amendment)
Bill on Tuesday February 6 adopted the reordered sequence of the
2019 General Elections,
making National Assembly election first and presidential election
last.

The House of
Representatives had few
weeks ago, began process to
amend the Electoral Act 2010
with the inclusion of section
25(1) in the law.

This was to reorder the
sequence of the elections, to
commence with National
Assembly, followed by
governorship and State House
of Assembly, and Presidential
as last.

This is against the sequence
rolled out by Independent
National Electoral
Commission (INEC) late 2017,
which put Presidential and
National Assembly elections
first and governorship and
state assembly to follow.

The Chairman of Senate
Committee on INEC, Suleiman
Nazif, said that the bill did
not in any way violate any
provisions of Section 76 of
the 1999 Constitution which
empowered INEC to fix dates
and conduct elections.

He said the words
“empowering INEC” to that
effect were duplicated in the
bill just as powers conferred
on the National Assembly by
section 4 (2) of the
Constitution were exercised
in relation to rescheduling of
elections.

Mr. Nazif said that inclusion
of section 25(1) which
changed the sequence of election
different from the one earlier released by INEC had not violated any provisions of the laws governing the operations of
the electoral body.

In his contribution, Chairman,House of
Representatives Committee on INEC,
Edward Pwajok, said that what the
House concurred with the Senate as was very necessary in giving credibility to
the electoral process.

“The sequence of election provision in the bill is not targeted at anybody but aimed at giving credibility to the electoral process.

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