Senate adopts conference committee report on #ElectoralAct, to deepen democracy

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Thursday, February 15, 2018 12.00PM / Proshare WebTV 

The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria yesterday Wednesday February 14, 2018 adopted the conference committee report on the electoral act, to deepen the democratic process in the country and provide legislative frameworks for some of the good measures introduced by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the 2015 elections.

Here are the key features of the conference committee report that has been adopted; 

Instant Electronic(No More Manual) Transmission of Results
The #ElectoralAct amendment mandates the immediate transmission of voting results from polling units to collation centres. This will help to give real-time results and reduce the opportunity for rigging elections. 

Online Publication of Voters Registers
Section 15 of the #ElectoralAct amendment provides a more level playing field for all contestants by mandating INEC, to publish all voter registers 30 days before the election. This will end the manipulation of voter registers. 

Full Biometric Accreditation
Section 49 of the Electoral Act gives INEC powers to utilize full biometric accreditation of voters with smart card readers and/or other technological devices, as INEC may introduce for elections from time to time. 

Removes Unfair Qualification Processes
The #ElectoralAct amendment ensures that political parties can no longer impose arbitrary qualification criteria on candidates. This will encourage younger voters to contest, promote competition and make elections more fair. 

Conflict Resolution Mechanisms
The #ElectoralAct amendment sets out a more rigorous process for the determination of candidates, as well as creates dispute resolution mechanisms that will allow those who are aggrieved to petition quickly. 

Maximum Expenses:
Section 87 of the #ElectoralAct amendment sets out the maximum expenses that can be incurred by every politician who is seeking election. Elections will no longer be about money and politics, but about competence. 

Substitution, Resignation & Replacement
Sections 33-38 of the #ElectoralAct amendment ensures that the names of candidates must be submitted not earlier than 90 days before the election, and not later than 60 days before the election. 

Section 33-34 of the #ElectoralAct amendment specifies that in the case of a death occurring before an election, such election will be suspended for 21 days and a replacement will be done within 14 days (after new primaries). 

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