Senate has commenced amendment of the Electoral Act (2010) with members divided over electronic voting in the 2015 polls and whether all the elections should be conducted same day. In an unprecedented move in the Seventh Senate, the chamber yesterday passed for second reading, three separate bills seeking various amendments to the electoral law. The bills, which were sponsored by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Minority Whip, Abu Ibrahim and Alkali Jajere, seek to determine the tenure of the office of the Secretary of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and removal of the commission’s chairman’s powers to appoint the secretary. Besides, the amendments equally seek the conduct of general elections, six months before the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent while bye-elections should be held twice a year.
The reviews are also seeking powers for INEC to issue duplicate voter cards before election, determine voting proceedure, holding of polls on a single day, and cause the electoral body to conduct debate for all presidential candidates.
In their contributions after the sponsors had presented their lead debates, many senators were divided on electronic voting. Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) and Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe said that electronic voting will make elections in Nigeria more credible while Senator Ayogu Eze noted that the arrangement to conduct all elections same day cannot work.
Full Article: Electronic voting divides Senate.