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Electoral reform: Mark saves Yar’Adua from disgrace

By Emmanuel Aziken

ABUJA—A last minute plea from the President of the Senate, Chief David Mark yesterday saved another of President Umaru Yar‘Adua’s electoral reform bills from premature death in the Senate.

The plea from Senator Mark was in the face of overwhelming arguments by Senators against the bill proposed by the President to establish the Electoral Offences Commission.

The proposed commission which is envisaged to investigate and prosecute electoral offences was lampooned by several Senators as a distraction from the genuine issues beclouding the nation’s electoral process.

The prospect of further humiliation for the President’s electoral reform proposals was against the earlier thumps down for two of his bills. The bill to establish a Political Parties Registration and Regulatory Commission was dismissed by the Senate while another bill to reform the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was hastingly withdrawn in the face of a similar rejection.

There were, however, expressions of support for the bill from some Senators notably Senators Olurunnimbe Mamora, Kabiru Gaya, Grace Bent and Ahmed Sani.


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