N’Assembly moves to revise rejected Electoral Act

The National Assembly Monday took steps to repackage the controversial Electoral Act amendment Bill rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this month.

According to the Nation, Members of Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) held a closed session Monday to articulate ways and means to reconsider contentious clauses of the rejected Bill.

If the Bill is passed by the two chambers, that will be the fourth time the National Assembly will consider and pass the Electoral Act amendment Bill.

President Buhari vetoed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018, citing drafting issues, which he said were likely to affect the interpretation and application of the Principal Act.

President Buhari in separate memos to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, said that some of the provisions of the Bill would adversely affect the operations of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) if allowed to pass.

The rejection of the Bill by President Buhari was communicated to the presiding officers of the National Assembly in a letter dated September 3, 2018

Although the issue of the use of electronic card readers was not raised by the President in his veto of the Bill, some stakeholders believed that the rejection of the Bill by President Buhari also meant that the card reader will not be used for the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

The Presidency on its part has come up strongly to say that the card reader was not part of what the National Assembly sent to the President for assent.

President Buhari had in March this year turned down the amendment to the Electoral Law, which altered the sequence of elections.

The amendment placed the National Assembly election first, followed by presidential election while governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections would hold last in the order of elections.

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