The House of Representatives yesterday adopted the conference committee report on the amendments to the Electoral Act 2010 and 2015 without a debate.
At the committee of the whole house chaired by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Edward Pwajok (APC, Plateau), who led his colleagues to the conference committee, said seven areas of disagreement between both chambers were addressed and resolved.
They are Sections 36 (3), 49(2), 53(2), 63(4) and 78(4), among others.
He said the conference agreed to adopt the Senate’s version on Section 36 (3) on death of candidates, which states that a political party whose candidate dies after commencement of an election and before the declaration of the result of that election has a 14-day window to conduct a fresh primary in order for INEC to conduct a fresh election within 21 days of the death of the party’s candidate.
The House recommended seven days but the Senate’s version was adopted by the conference.
Pwajok said the conference also resolved the issue of voter’s card in Section 49 (2) while the Senate’s recommendation on Section 78 (4) was also adopted.
The conference also agreed on the issue of votes exceeding the number of the voters in the register by adopting the Senate’s version, while on announcement of result of election, it was also agreed that it must be transmitted immediately.
The conference also agreed on the sequence of elections whereby the presidential poll would be conducted last, according to Pwajok, who also explained that INEC must fix election dates.
He said the conference also empowered INEC to fix election timetable for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Speaker recalled that the bill has been adopted earlier, adding that there was no need for debates at this stage since it was a conference report where all the grey areas have been addressed.
He put the question and the report was unanimously adopted in a voice vote.
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Author: Dele Anofi, Abuja