The Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) has proposed a range of amendments to Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), to enable it have a firmer grip on the conduct of general elections and the supervision of parties’ shadow polls.
These proposals are in line with the vision of its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to address some of the lapses in the electoral law.
The draft amendment has been submitted to the National Assembly – due to begin its assignment after their return from annual vacation next month.
Some of the highlights of the proposed amendment include:
- Election to hold on a date to be picked by INEC
- Primaries to hold four months before poll
- Tough conditions for unqualified candidates and parties presenting such people;
- Stoppage of registration of voters 90 days before the general election
- Banning INEC members from belonging to political parties;
- Making funds available to INEC not later than 180 days to the appointed date for election.
- Powers to suspend poll if there is threat to peace
- Death of a candidate during poll and conduct of primaries within 14 days and
- Issuance of Certificate of Return to elected candidate should INEC refuse
A copy of the draft amendments, obtained exclusively by The Nation, reads in part: “Nothing in this section shall empower the Courts to stop the holding of Ad-hoc delegates’ elections, primaries or general election or the processes thereof under this Act pending the determination of the suit.
INEC makes e-voting it discretionary in its proposal.
It said: “Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act or any other Law, the Commission may adopt electronic voting or any other method of voting in any election it conducts as it may deem fit”.
On funding, it demanded that such funds be released six months before any general election.