By Henry Umoru, ABUJA
THE House of Representatives has bowed to the Senate on the consensus mode of selecting candidates for elections by political parties.
The Senate had re-amended for a second time, the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, 2022, to include provisions, which clearly define the mode of primaries for political parties.
The was sequel to a motion titled “Rescission on clause 84 of the Electoral Act No. 26 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and Committal to the Committee of the Whole” and sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi(APC, Kebbi North).
The Senate had, last week, bowed to President Buhari’s observation as it amended the controversial Electoral Bill to include direct, indirect primaries and consensus for the selection of candidates by parties.
While the Senate re-amended the Electoral Act, approving direct, indirect primaries or consensus for political parties in choosing their candidates, the House of Representatives on the other hand adopted only the Direct or Indirect and left out the Consensus method.
The Senate in its motion said that the House of Representatives has now agreed to be on the same page with the Upper Chamber by concuring with Direct, Indirect or Consensus on how a candidate will emerge.
The Senate Leader said that the amended bill provides in clause 84 (2) that, “The procedure for the nomination of candidates by political parties for the various elective positions shall be by direct, indirect primaries or consensus.”
According to the bill in 84(3) “a political party shall not impose nomination qualification or disqualification criteria, measures, or conditions on any aspirant or candidate for any election in its constitution, guidelines, or rules for nomination of candidates for elections, except as prescribed under sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 177 and 187 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”
It also states in 84(8) that, “A political party that adopts the system of indirect primaries for the choice of its candidate shall clearly outline in its constitution and rule the procedure for the democratic election of delegates to vote at the convention, congress meeting.”
Meanwhile, the Senate warned that political parties that failed or refused to abide with the provisions on the mode of primaries, would miss out on the opportunity to participate during elections.