The Senate on Tuesday did a U-turn by reversing itself on electronic transmission of election results, as it empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to decide an option that nest suits the situation.
Under a new amendment of Clause 52 (2) of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the Senate resolved that “voting at an election and transmission of results under this Bill shall be following the procedure determined by the Commission, which may include electronic voting”.
The move was part of decisions taken by the Senate when it passed a bill to re-commit some clauses in the Electoral Act Repeal and Re-Enactment Bill, earlier passed separately by the Senate and House of Representatives.
Presenting a motion for the changes before the Senate, Majority Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, said after a critical examination of the Bill by the Senate Committee on INEC, some fundamental issues were observed which required fresh legislative action.
He listed the clauses that required action as 43, 52, 62, 87.
The Senate had earlier agreed during the amendment of the electoral act that parties should adopt either direct or indirect primaries.
However, based on the observation by its INEC Committee, the lawmakers supported direct primaries while some others did not.
Senator Adamu AlIero supported direct primaries arguing that it will strengthen and deepen democracy and will make the electoral process transparent.
However, based on the observation by its INEC Committee, the Senate opted for a repeal of the section to select a specific method of primaries. Some lawmakers supported direct primaries while some others did not.
Senator Adamu AlIero argued in favour of direct primaries, saying that it will strengthen and deepen democracy and will make the electoral process transparent.
However, Senator Smart Adeyemi disagreed, throwing his support for indirect primaries.
According to Senator Adeyemi, indirect primaries are better for the country because the majority of party members are illiterate and they will need enlightenment if they are going to be asked to come out and vote, noting that indirect primaries are cheaper to conduct.
After the debate, the majority of lawmakers voted in favour of direct primaries and it was adopted by the Senate.