President Muhammadu Buhari has declined to assent to the amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act forwarded to him by the National Assembly (NASS).
The amended 2010 Electoral Act seeks, among other objectives, to re-order the sequence of polls during general elections.
NASS 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.
This amendment, which is at variance with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) elections time-table that stipulates Presidential and National Assembly elections were to hold first, while governorship and state assembly would follow, did not go down well with President Buhari.
The NASS also amended section 87 by adding a new section 87(11) with a marginal note: “time for primaries of political parties”.
“The primaries of political parties shall follow the following sequence (i) State House of Assembly (ii) National Assembly (iii) Governorship, and (iv), President.
“The dates for the above stated primaries shall not be held earlier than 120 days and not later than 90 days before the date of elections to the offices,” the marginal note read.
The NASS also amended section 36 to allow for running mate of a candidate that dies before the conclusion of elections to inherit his/her votes and continue with the process.
Section 35 that states if before an election a candidate dies he will be replaced by the next contestant with the highest vote was also amended.
The amendment indicated that if a nominated candidate died in the election process, the next person from the same political party with the second highest votes in the primary election should replace the deceased.
It stated that the name of the new person should be submitted to INEC, which should accept such replacement as if the deceased was alive.
President Buhari, in a letter addressed to both chambers of the NASS, and read on the floor of the Senate House by Senate President Bukola Saraki today, declined assent to the amendments stating it conflicts laws establishing the INEC.