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Electoral Act Amendment Bill Causes Huge Controversies

The Electoral Act Amendment Bill has been causing major controversies since the National Assembly mandated that political parties adopt direct primaries in candidate selection.

The Bill passed yesterday contained what seemed unfavourable to members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, respectively.

Reacting, Abubakar Bagudu, the Governor of Kebbi State, who doubles as the chairman of Progressives Governors Forum, PGF, hinted that the National Assembly’s decision might not be conducive in practice.

The Governor noted this point while addressing reporters during the end of a closed-door meeting recently held by the PGF members.

Bagudu said that adopting direct primaries by political parties will overstretch the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, since NASS resolved to utilize Section 87 on mandatory direct primaries for all parties.

He criticized the concept and said it looks undemocratic for the electoral commission to propose such a mandate.

He said the Forum discussed problems associated with direct primaries, noting that there had been concerns that political parties were voluntary organizations.

The Governor said the concern of the governors is that the Bill limits the abilities of parties to choose options that they so desire.

Also, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has rejected the direct primary system allowing the nomination of candidates for elections.

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