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Reps pass electoral amendment bill but differ with senate on campaign finance limit

Reps pass electoral amendment bill but differ with senate on campaign finance limit
October 24
18:23 2018
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The house of representatives has passed a bill amending the electoral act, a day after the senate passed a similar bill.

The lower legislative chamber passed the amendment on Wednesday after Aishatu Dukku, chairman of committee on INEC, presented a report of the joint committee on INEC.

In August, President Muhammadu Buhari rejected the bill for a second time — it had first been passed in July.

The president had declined assent to the bill due to some drafting issues that were not addressed during its prior revision.

Presenting the committee report, Dukku said some amendments in the bill include postponement of an of an election where card readers fail in certain circumstances, limiting campaign funding by individuals and setting deadline for primary elections.

In the new bill, where a smart card reader fails to function in any polling unit and a fresh card reader is not deployed 3 hours before the close of the election in that unit, the election shall not hold but be rescheduled and conducted within 24 hours thereafter.

This is, however, provided that the total possible votes from all the affected card readers in the unit or units does not affect the overall result in the constituency or election concerned else, the commission shall announce the final results and declare a winner.”

The house also set the dates of the primaries at not earlier than 150 days and not later than 90 days before the date of the election to the elective offices.

Virtually all the amendments were the same with that of the senate, except for a few occasions such as campaign funding by individuals.

While campaign spending limits for presidential and governorship elections were pegged at N5 billion and N1 billion respectively (as was in the case of the senate), senatorial and house of representatives elections spending limits were put at N500 million and N250 million respectively.

The senate had pegged the spending limit for senatorial election at N250 million and for house of representatives at N150 million.

In the new bill also, the lower legislative chamber pegged donation limits by individuals and organisations to political parties at N10 million.

The joint committee would later meet to reconcile the differences in both bills passed by the two chambers.

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