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JUST IN: Senate Finally Passes Amended Electoral Act Bill

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The Senate on Tuesday passed the harmonised version of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The passage followed the consideration of the report of the Conference Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on the bill.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on October 13, 2021, constituted a seven-man conference committee to meet with their counterparts in the House of Representatives to harmonise the differences in the Senate and House versions of the bill.

The Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, who chaired the Conference Committee in the Senate, presented the report of the harmonised version of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

He said the bill when passed by the National Assembly, and subsequently assented to by the President, would regulate the conduct of elections at the Federal, States and Area Councils in Federal Capital Territory.

He disclosed that the Conference Committee at its retreat considered and adopted 21 clauses in the bill.

Abdullahi said: “It is imperative to point out that with the successful harmonization of this bill, a process that started from the 7th Assembly through to the 8th National Assembly has now been completed by the 9th National Assembly.

“The Bill is now ready for passage and Presidential assent.

“I am happy to state that most of what we call ‘citizens top priorities’ on the Electoral Act Amendment, including the use of technology have been addressed by the Electoral Bill, 2021.”

The Senate had on October 13, 2021, re-amended certain aspects of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill especially clauses 43, 52, 63 and 87, respectively.

The re-amendment of the clauses had followed a motion for re-committal sponsored by the Senate Leader, Abdullahi.

The Senate yesterday approved the re-amended clauses to provide for direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions.

It also empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under clause 63 of the Bill to determine the procedure for voting and transmission of results during any election.

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