Election Sequence: House awaits Buhari’s response on new Electoral Act

By Christiana Ekpa

The House of Representatives has disclosed that it will await President Muhammad Buhari’s response before taking a final action on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
Peoples Daily reports that the New Electoral Bill provides for a timeline for submission of candidates list and changes the election sequence and party primaries as well as deals with the use of technological gadgets.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had during a media briefing held in Abuja on Wednesday, observed that the Commission is currently working with the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) even though the National Assembly had changed the order of elections, Electoral Law amendment bill.
Addressing newsmen after the plenary at weekly briefing yesterday, Chairman House Committee on Media and Publicity, Absulrasak Namdas, said if the President does not assent to the Bill within the mandatory 30 days as required by the constitution, other options may be considered.
“As at today, the President has not assented to the Electoral Act Bill. And what I said is that we have options. If a President refused assent to any bill, he sends it back to us. And this President has a habit of giving reasons. The latest was the Peace Corps Bill – at least, he stated his reasons. So, naturally we cannot override when the man has not even given reasons and not done anything. So, we have to wait.
“We have got the option to override, but yet we have to wait. We cannot do that until we hear from the President before this thing takes place. So, I think it’s not as if we are sitting and waiting patiently and say: okay, you didn’t come, we override. No.
“What if the man assents to the Bill, it ends the story. So, let’s wait till the procedure comes to a conclusion. We cannot just preempt what the President would do…Definitely, we have to give him the latitude to do what he wants to do,” he said.
The House spokesperson position came as the result of speculations over the seeming impending crisis between National Assembly and the National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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