Chaos as Senate Adopts Change in Election Timetable

There was pandemonium as the Senate on Wednesday passed the conference committee report on amendment to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Act.

The amendment to the electoral act, if approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, will uphold the change in the order of election as adopted by the lawmakers, to the displeasure of supporters of the president.

The lawmakers want their election held first in 2019, before that of the state lawmakers and state governors, with the last being the presidential election, Premium Times writes.

In 2015 and since 2003, the presidential and National Assembly polls were held first on the same day, followed by governorship and state legislative polls on the second day of the general elections.

The Senate’s move comes after the House of Representatives, on January 23, amended the Electoral Act to change the order of the 2019 general elections.

The change recommended by the lower chamber came barely a month after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released the time-table for the 2019 general elections.

In the timetable earlier released by INEC, Presidential and National Assembly elections are to hold first, while governorship and state assembly polls are to follow.

The House amended section 25 of the Principal Act and substituted it with a new section 25 (1).

According to the section, the elections shall be held in the following order: (a) National Assembly election (b) State Houses of Assembly and Governorship elections (c) Presidential election.

Similarly, section 87 was amended by adding a new section 87 (11) with a marginal note “time for primaries of political parties”.

Details to follow…

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