SENATE HAS APPROVED THE ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF ELECTION RESULTS The Senate voted on Tuesday to give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the authority to choose whether to transmit results electronically or manually during elections.
This is a reversal of its previous resolution, which stated that INEC could transmit election results electronically with the consent of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Assembly.
The Senate also passed an amendment to the Electoral Act that states that political parties would no longer employ indirect primaries to pick candidates for elections.
SENATE HAS APPROVED THE ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF ELECTION RESULTS
The Senate had already adopted a provision in the Electoral Bill that permitted parties to nominate candidates for elections through either direct or indirect primaries.
The Upper Chamber also adopted a measure allowing INEC to employ electronic voting devices during elections.
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The Upper Chamber decisions came after a motion filed by Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi titled “Motion for recommittal” (Kebbi North).
The Senate, according to Abdullahi, “recalls that the Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 (Repeal and re-enactment) Bill, 2021 was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives.”
“Observes that, following a careful assessment of the Bill by the Senate Committee on INEC, several fundamental flaws have been identified that necessitate new legislative action on the following clauses – 43, 52, 63, and 87.”
“Desirous of the necessity to address the Committee’s observation and make required adjustments; and “Relying on Senate Standing Orders 1(b) and 53(6). ”
As a result, the Committee of the Whole resolves to rescind its decision on the impacted Clauses of the Bill as passed and re-commit the same to the Committee of the Whole for deliberation and passage.” “In all instances not provided for herein or by Sessional or other Orders or practice of the Senate shall by Resolution control its procedure,” states Order 1(b) of the Senate Standing Orders.
Furthermore, Order 53(6) of the Senate Standing Orders states that “it shall be out of order to attempt to revisit any specific matter on which the Senate has reached to a conclusion during the current session, unless upon a substantive motion for rescission.”
Senator Aliyu Abdullahi (Niger North) amended Clause 52(3) of the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill during the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission’s examination of a report (INEC). www.thenigeriafm.com
The Committee’s had initially recommended in in Clause 52(3) that, “The Commission (INEC) may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.”
The Senate deliberated on and adopted the recommendations contained in a Bill titled: “A Bill for an Act to repeal the Electoral Bill 2021, No. 6, 2010 and enact the Electoral Act 2021, (SB.122).”
The Senate amended Clause 52(2) of the Electoral Bill to read that: “Subject to section 63 of this Bill, voting at an election and transmission of results under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission, which may include electronic voting. The modified Bill’s Clause 63 (5) states, “The Presiding Officer shall transfer the results, including the total number of accredited voters and the outcomes of the ballot, in the manner stipulated by the Commission.”
The Senate stated in its remarks that “the change would address the concern that prompted the initial draft on potential disenfranchisement and the security of results.”
The modification is linked to Section 63, which ensures that authentic results are tallied, entered into forms, signed by Presiding Officers, and declared at polling stations before transfer or transmission, as the case may be.” The Senate changed Clause 87(1) of the Bill, which deals with party nominations of candidates, to read, “A political party intending to propose candidates for elections under this Bill shall organize direct primaries for aspirants to all elected seats, which shall be overseen by the Commission.”
The Senate stated that the revision to clause 87(1) was “required by the requirement to expressly provision for the adoption of direct primary since it is more favorable to inclusion and transparency.”
The Senate also added a new clause 87(3-7) that reads: “87(3) The method for political parties nominating candidates for various elected seats via direct primaries.” shall ensure that all aspirants are given an equal opportunity to be voted for by party members, as well as the right to have agents observe the primary.” 87(4) The procedure for direct primaries must be spelled out in a guideline issued by the political party and filed with the Commission at least 14 days before the primary election.” 87(5) A political party should keep a record of its members and state in the guidelines for the conduct of primaries that the register of its members shall be utilized for primary accreditation.
“87(6) The Commission shall deploy staff to supervise the primaries in all locations where direct primaries are place.” 87(7) Every aspirant who has been cleared by the party to run in the primary is entitled to a copy of the instructions for the conduct of the primaries in which he or she is participating.”
In addition, the Senate revised Clause 43 of the Bill to allow INEC to employ ballot boxes and electronic voting machines during elections.
“(1) The Commission shall supply suitable boxes, electronic voting machines, or any other voting device for the conduct of elections,” says Clause 43(1-3) as amended.
“(2) The forms to be used for the conduct of elections to the offices mentioned in this Bill shall be determined by the Commission
“(3) The Polling Agents shall be entitled to be present at the distribution of the election materials, electronic voting machine and voting devices from the office to the polling booth.” source thenigerianews