Politics

Nothing Stops Buhari From Signing Harmonised Electoral Bill – Victor Umeh

Nothing Stops Buhari From Signing Harmonised Electoral Bill – Victor Umeh

File photo of Former APGA Chairman, Victor Umeh

The Former Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Senator Victor Umeh has explained why nothing stops President Muhammadu Buhari from assenting to the Harmonised Electoral Act Bill.

The harmonised version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill which was passed by the lawmakers during Tuesday’s plenary is the final agreed version between the Senate and House of Representatives, on the amendment to Clause 84 of the bill.

Senator Umeh on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme Sunrise Daily said nothing stops President Muhammadu Buhari from passing the bill because the vague part has been clarified.

NASS Passes Harmonised Electoral Bill With Direct, Indirect, Consensus Modes Of Primaries

“Let me commend the National Assembly for doing a further job on this controversial bill particularly as related to section 84 of the Act.

“I don’t see anything again that the President will say. The three options have now been clarified and how a candidate can be produced through the three options. Everything is now clear, there’s nothing vague anymore.

So, the President cannot do anything but sign this bill. If they had sent it the way it was last week, the clause of a Consensus candidate was not reduced further the President may latch on it and say he won’t sign. But now that clause has been removed, we all now know how a consensus candidate can emerge,” Umeh explained.

The lawmaker added that he initially disagreed with the Bill because the clause on the Consensus candidate was not clear.

“Last week, when the Senate passed its own version and included Consensus without clarifying how a consensus candidate will emerge, I discussed this and disagreed with the Senate. I only agreed with the House of Representatives to an extent.

“I felt the provision for Consensus candidate was vague and wasn’t clear.

“Now they have gone to a conference and from what they passed yesterday I can tell you that I am largely satisfied with all the three options because they now went on to specify what a consensus candidate will emerge. I think the process has now been opened up [clarified],” Umeh said.

The harmonised version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill includes the direct, indirect, and consensus primary modes of nominating candidates by political parties for elections.

The re-amendment was sequel to a motion on “rescission on clause 84 of the Electoral Act No. 26 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and Committal to the Committee of the Whole” sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the amendment to the electoral bill by the Committee of the Whole, said the re-amendment was done to harmonise the lawmakers’ position with that of the House of Representatives.

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