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Published On: Mon, Jun 30th, 2014

Committee suggests 10-year ban for electoral offenders

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Confab Chairman KutigiBy Patrick Andrew

If the recommendation of the Committee on Political Parties and Electoral Matters sails through electoral offenders will henceforth be banned from holding political offices for 10 years.

The recommendation was part of the many other salient policies the committee felt must be adopted to thwart those convicted of any electoral crimes from participating in subsequent electoral processes.

Making this submission to the plenary yesterday, the committee co-chaired by two former senate presidents – Iyorchia Ayu and Ken Nnamani-advocated the exclusion of all electoral convicts in the 2015 elections and thereafter.

Specifically, the committee listed such electoral offences to include registration, campaign finance and political party finance breaches even as it also recommended that any action challenging the conduct of primaries by a political party shall be filed within 14 days of the cause of action.

“Any person convicted of any electoral offence should be disqualified for ten years from the date of conviction from contesting any election.

“Such a person should be disqualified from holding any elective or appointive position either in government or political party,” the committee recommended.

The committee also recommended that any action challenging the conduct of primaries by a political party shall be filed within 14 days of the cause of action as well as called for the enforcement of code of conduct for political parties already drawn up by the Inter-Party Advisory Council.

In the course of screening nominees of the President for any INEC position, the committee recommended that the Senate should set aside at least two weeks to allow for public objection, if any.

The committee also recommended that to enhance party’s independence and discipline, all members must submit themselves to the principle of party supremacy.

According to it, all elected members of the party must respect party decisions at all times.

On the conduct of election, the committee recommended that biometric data of all voters should be captured, stored and used for elections.

It also recommended that INEC should ensure that the latest technology was deployed at all times in the conduct of elections as obtained in other climes.

The committee also recommended that relevant sections of the Constitution and the Electoral Act be amended to provide for independent candidacy during elections.

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