Connect with us

Government

Buhari Declines Assent to Reviewed Electoral Amendment Bill

Published

on

Buhari on arrival from London
  • Buhari Declines Assent to Reviewed Electoral Amendment Bill

President Muhammadu Buhari has declined assent to the Electoral Act(Amendment) Bill, 2018, transmitted to him by the National Assembly.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

He said the president declined assent to the bill due to some drafting issues.

According him, one of the concerns of the president is the period fixed for primaries.

He said the schedule for primaries provided that it should not be earlier than 120 days and not later than 90 days to elections.

He further said the schedule would allow Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) only 9 days to collate list of candidates among others.

“His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, has by communication dated Aug. 30, 2018, to the Senate and the House of Representatives. declined assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

“I pray for leave, that in view of public interest, the fact of the National Assembly vacation, the imperative to avoid speculation and misinformation, that I give just a few of the rationale by Mr. President.

‘’Mr. President is declining assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill due to some drafting issues that remain unaddressed following the prior revisions to the Bill.

“Mr. President invites the Senate and House of Representatives to address these issues as quickly as possible so that he may grant Assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill.

Enang added that Section 87(14) of the bill among other sections, needed to be reviewed by the national assembly.

He said, “the proposed amendment to include a new Section 87 (14) which stipulates a specific period within which political party primaries are required to be held has the unintended consequence.

” It leaves INEC with only nine days to collate and compile lists of candidates and political parties as well manage the primaries of 91 political parties for the various elections.

“This is because the Electoral Amendment Bill does not amend sections 31, 34 and 85 which stipulates times for the submission of lists of candidates, publication of lists of candidates and notice of convention, congresses for nominating candidates for elections.”

He further said, “for clarity, may I provide some details of the provisions referenced.

“Clause 87 (14) states that, ‘the dates for the primaries shall not be earlier than 120 days and not later than 90 days before the date of elections to the offices.

“The Electoral Act 2010 referred to herein states in Section 31, ‘’that every political party shall, not later than 60 days before the date appointed for a general elections, submit to the Commission the list of candidates the party proposes to sponsor at the elections.

“Section 34 stipulates that ‘the Commission shall at least 30 days before the day of the election publish a statement of the full names and addresses of all candidates standing nominated.

“Section 85 (1) provides that a ‘political party shall give the Commission at least 21 days notice of any convention, congress etc., for electing members of its executive committees or nominating candidates for any of the elective offices.’’

Enang explained that for the avoidance of doubt, neither the Constitution nor any written law allowed a president or a governor to whom a Bill was forwarded by the legislature to edit, correct, amend or in any manner alter the provisions of any such Bill to reflect appropriate intent before assenting to same.

He said such a person was to assent in the manner it was sent or withhold assent.

The presidential aide also listed other reasons for the withholding of assent by the president.

“A few of the outstanding issues are, there is a cross referencing error in the proposed amendment to Section 18 of the Bill. The appropriate amendment is to substitute the existing sub-section (2) with the proposed subsection (1A), while the proposed sub-section (1B) is the new sub-section (2A).”

He further noted the president had communicated his action on other bills earlier transmitted to the national assembly.

The bills, according to Enang, include the National Agricultural Seeds Council Bill, 2018, The Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2017
and The Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurship (Establishment) Bill, 2018.

Others according to him, are the Subsidiary Legislation (Legislative Scrutiny) Bill, 2018; National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (Establishment) Bill, 2018; National Research and Innovation Council (Establishment) Bill 2017; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

Enang had in August, clarified that the Electoral Bill passed by the National Assembly on July 24 and forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari on Aug. 3, was alive and awaiting assent.

He gave the clarification against the backdrop of report published by a national daily that Buhari had again vetoed the 2018 electoral bill forwarded to him for assent.

Enang had said the vetoed bill was the one sent to the President on June 27 and not the one passed by both chambers of the National Assembly on July 24, the day it embarked on annual recess.

Enang added that the vetoed bill was the one with contentious provisions and infractions on provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

NAN reports that aside the vetoed version of the 2018 electoral bill forwarded to the President on June 27 and vetoed on July 26 in line with the 30 days constitutional life line for such bill, the President had earlier in the year, rejected the first of the 2010 Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 forwarded to him in February for assent.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal on Aug. 1, nullified the April 25 judgment of the Federal High Court, which struck out the National Assembly’s election re-ordering provision of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018.

A five-member panel of the court, headed by its President, Zainab Bulkachuwa, ruled that a bill could not be challenged in court until it became an Act.

Meanwhile, the national assembly had removed the controversial section prior to the Court of Appeal ruling and resent the revised edition of the bill to President Buhari for assent.

(NAN)

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Continue Reading
Comments

Government

Kagame Dominates Election with 99.15% of Votes Counted

Published

on

President Paul Kagame has taken a commanding lead in the Rwandan presidential election, securing 99.15% of the votes counted thus far, according to the National Electoral Commission.

The provisional results, reported by the state broadcaster Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, indicate a decisive victory for the Rwandan Patriotic Front candidate.

With 79% of the ballots tallied, Kagame’s overwhelming lead leaves his opponents trailing significantly.

Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has garnered only 0.53% of the votes, while independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana has received 0.32%.

The voter turnout has been reported at an impressive 98%, underscoring the high level of public engagement in the electoral process.

The early results suggest a strong mandate for Kagame, who has been at the helm of Rwandan politics since 2000.

Kagame’s administration has been marked by significant economic growth and development, but it has also faced criticism for its stance on political dissent and freedom of expression.

Despite this, Kagame remains a highly popular figure in Rwanda, with many citizens crediting him for the country’s stability and progress.

The National Electoral Commission is expected to release the final results in the coming days. As the tallying continues, Kagame’s supporters have already begun celebrating his anticipated victory.

Analysts believe that Kagame’s likely re-election will provide continuity in Rwanda’s economic policies and development programs.

However, they also call for more inclusive governance and respect for political freedoms to ensure long-term stability and growth.

Kagame’s near-unanimous support in the early results reflects his entrenched position in Rwandan politics.

His ability to maintain such high levels of support will be a focal point of discussion in the aftermath of the election.

Continue Reading

Government

Kenya Prepares for More Protests Over Unresolved Political Crisis

Published

on

Kenya is on the brink of another wave of anti-government protests as efforts to resolve the nation’s escalating political crisis appear to have stalled.

President William Ruto’s proposal for a national dialogue has yet to take off, leaving the nation in a state of heightened tension.

Activists have called for demonstrations across the East African nation on Tuesday, protesting the government’s failure to hold security forces accountable for the deaths of at least 41 people.

These casualties occurred during protests against Ruto’s contentious plan to raise taxes over the past month.

Despite the president’s announcement last week that national dialogue would commence on Monday to defuse the situation, progress has been elusive.

The main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), expressed uncertainty regarding the proposed talks.

“We haven’t received any invitation,” ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna stated. “When called, we’ll go because we are keen on getting broad-based reforms.”

A spokesperson for the presidency indicated that parliamentary leaders were managing the planned talks, but National Assembly majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah did not respond to requests for comment.

Protests initially erupted in mid-June over Ruto’s plans to increase taxes on essential goods, including bread and diapers, aiming to raise over $2 billion to reduce the government’s budget shortfall.

The public outcry forced Ruto to abandon the proposal, but dissatisfaction remains high.

Last week, in a dramatic move to quell public anger, Ruto fired almost all his cabinet members, underscoring the severity of the discontent.

The scrapping of the tax measures is expected to widen the government’s budget deficit to 3.6% of GDP in the current fiscal year, up from a previous projection of 3.3%.

This financial strain has not gone unnoticed; Moody’s Ratings downgraded Kenya’s rating by a step to Caa1, plunging it deeper into junk status, highlighting the country’s deteriorating fiscal condition.

On Saturday, Ruto vowed to hold accountable those responsible for the recent killings. However, his efforts to address public concerns seem insufficient to stem the tide of unrest.

On Monday, he called on the Ford Foundation, an organization promoting civic engagement, to clarify its role in the protests, though the foundation did not respond to requests for comment.

Continue Reading

Government

Rishi Sunak Announces Resignation Amid Labour’s Sweeping Victory

Published

on

Rishi Sunak

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced his resignation as the leader of the Conservative Party following a historic victory by Labour in the general election.

Addressing the nation from the steps of 10 Downing Street, Sunak expressed his deep regret and took full responsibility for the party’s defeat.

“I would like to say, first and foremost, I am sorry. I have given this job my all,” Sunak began, visibly moved.

“But you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change. And yours is the only judgement that matters. I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss.”

The Conservatives experienced a staggering loss, with more seats taken by Labour than in any previous election.

This shift marked a dramatic change in the political landscape, as large swathes of the country turned red. Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, claimed victory early Friday morning, addressing a jubilant crowd of supporters.

“The UK has the opportunity after 14 years to get its future back,” Starmer proclaimed.

Sunak, who retained his seat in Richmond, North Yorkshire, described the night as “sobering.”

In his concession, he stated, “The Labour Party has won this general election, and I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory. The British people have delivered a sobering verdict tonight; there is much to learn, and I take responsibility for the loss.”

Following his resignation speech, Sunak and his wife, Akshata, departed from Downing Street for Buckingham Palace to formally tender his resignation to King Charles III.

A spokesperson for the King confirmed, “His Majesty was graciously pleased to accept.”

Reflecting on his tenure, Sunak said, “I am honoured to have been your prime minister. This is the best country in the world.”

He also acknowledged the many Conservative MPs who lost their seats, stating, “It pains me to think how many good colleagues who contributed so much to their communities and our country will now no longer sit in the House of Commons. I thank them for their hard work and their service.”

As the Conservative Party faces a period of introspection and rebuilding, Sunak emphasized the importance of the party’s role in opposition.

“It is important that the Conservative Party now rebuilds and also takes up its crucial role in opposition, professionally and effectively,” he noted.

The leadership race within the Conservative Party is expected to commence shortly, as the party seeks to navigate its path forward after this significant electoral defeat.

For now, the UK braces for a new political era under Labour’s leadership, with the promise of significant changes on the horizon.

Continue Reading
Advertisement




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending