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We’ll decide next line of action in 2022, says Gbajabiamila on electoral bill

  Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives, says by 2022, the lower legislative chamber will decide the way forward concer...

 


Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives, says by 2022, the lower legislative chamber will decide the way forward concerning the electoral act amendment bill.

 

Gbajabiamila spoke at the last plenary session of the year on Tuesday.

 

The bill was transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent on November 19.

 

The legislation provides for the electronic transmission of election results and the compulsory use of direct primary to pick candidates by all political parties.

 

But Buhari rejected the bill, saying the amendment may open up the electoral system to litigations based on diverse grounds and issues of law, adding that adopting direct primary violates the spirit of democracy.

 

The president said his decision to decline assent to the bill was informed by counsel from the relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDA).

 

Commenting on the issue, Gbajabiamila said the house will work towards reforming the electoral system of the country.

 

He added that the house will do its best to deliver a credible and enduring electoral system.

 

“This year, despite the differences of opinions, all of us in the House of Representatives and indeed, the entire National Assembly, worked to pass the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill. We included in that bill, provisions we hoped will significantly enhance the conduct of our national elections and improve public confidence in our electoral outcomes,” he said.

 

“As it is now, that bill has not received presidential assent, and it falls to parliament to decide the best way forward. When we return in the new year, we will resume our efforts to reform the electoral system in our country. And we will do it together. That is what the Nigerian people expect of us, and we will do our duty for God and our country.

 

“Whichever way it pans out, we must not throw out the baby with the bathwater and must deliver a credible and enduring electoral system to Nigerians. Every law is a living document and as long as it has breath, it must survive.”

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