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Reps agree to include consensus candidate clause in electoral bill

Reps agree to include consensus candidate clause in electoral bill
January 25
12:27 2022

The house of representatives has aligned with the senate on a clause providing the consensus candidate option for political parties.

When both chambers of the national assembly revisited the electoral act amendment bill last week, the house approved indirect and direct primaries, but the senate went a step further by including the consensus candidate option.

In the first harmonised version of the revised harmonised bill seen by TheCable, the consensus candidate option was excluded.

But while passing another harmonised version of the bill on Tuesday after a motion was sponsored by Abdullahi Yahaya, senate leader, the lower legislative chamber agreed with the upper legislative chamber on consensus candidacy.

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Yahaya said the decision to revisit the bill was because “some fundamental issues which require fresh legislative action by both chambers of the national assembly emerged on the clause”.

“Recall that on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, section 84 of the electoral act No.6 2010 (amendment) bill was reconsidered in the committee of the whole following the withholding of assent by the president with observations,” he said.

“These necessitated a joint leadership meeting in order to give Nigerians an enduring electoral act that can stand the test of time.”

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After the bill was passed, Senate President Ahmad Lawan had said it contains detailed explanations on how the consensus candidates could emerge.

“The senate and the house passed the bill with slight differences. While the house passed the mode to be direct and indirect, the senate passed that and consensus candidate option,” Lawan said.

“What we have done is to give very clear, sufficient definition to the mode of primaries.

“And as for the consensus, the two chambers have produced, in this bill, very clear definition of how the consensus candidate will emerge.”

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A clean copy of the harmonised version of the bill will be sent to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

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