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2019 Elections: Delayed legislation constrained electoral operations — INEC

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2019 elections

By Emmanuel Okogba

The Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, has identified delay and failure to pass proposed amendments into law as one of its challenges as it prepared to conduct the 2019 elections and, by extension, that of 2015.

This was contained in a report by the Commission in a review of the challenges faced in the build-up to the conduct of the general election.

According to INEC, drawing from the experience of delay before the 2015 elections where “the new amendments were assented to and signed into law by the President on March 26, 2015, just two days to the general election,” the commission began planning for the 2019 elections as early as 2016.

The proposed amendment covered issues like Diaspora voting, conduct of primary election by political parties and a proposal to address the Kogi conundrum, where a candidate died after the commencement of polls but before the declaration of winner, which was not envisaged in the existing legal framework.

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In the 2016 proposed amendment, “46 items were identified and submitted for consideration by NASS. The proposed amendments ranged from qualification and disqualification for executive or legislative positions at the Federal and State levels (Sections 65, 106, 131 & 177 of the 1999 Constitution as amended); dates for the conduct of elections into Executive and Legislative positions (Sections76,116,132,&178) to delimitation and size of State Constituencies (Sections 112-115 of the 1999 Constitution as amended).”

Others were tenure of members of the Executive and Legislative branches at the Federal and State levels (Sections 64 & 68, 105 & 109 and 135 & 180 of the 1999 Constitution as amended); the deployment of technology in the conduct of elections (Sections 49, 52, 53 & 67 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended); and the death of a presidential or governorship candidate before the declaration of the results of the election or of run-off elections (Section 112 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended).”

As experienced in 2015, these proposed amendments were not passed into law before the 2019 General Election. Consequently, the Commission conducted the 2019 General Election with the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).

Vanguard News Nigeria

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