The Senate passes Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill

Wednesday October 24, 2018

On the 23rd of October 2018, the Senate passed the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 after the report and recommendations laid before the Senate by the Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This comes months after the President, on the 8th of March 2018, withheld presidential assent on the previous version of the Bill presented before him for assent. The Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission had made amendments to the Bill based on the issues raised by the President and presented a new version of the Bill before the Senate which the Senate duly passed.

The objectives of the Bill are as follows;

  1. To provide for the use of Card Readers and any other similar technological devices in conducting elections;
  2. To provide a timeline for the submission of list of candidates
  3. To identify criteria for substitution of candidates, limit of campaign expenses; and (
  4. To address noticed problems related to the omission of names of candidates or logo of political parties

The amendments to the Electoral Act are as follows;

  1. Section 18  which deals with errors contained in the Principal Act with regards to cross referencing;
  2. Section 31 which deals with the submission of list of candidates and their affidavits by political parties;
  3. Section 33 which deals with the changing candidates by political parties;
  4. Section 34 which deals with publication of nomination;
  5. Section 36(3) which deals with a nominated candidate who dies after the commencement of an election but before the announcement of result and declaration of a winner;
  6. Section 38 which deals with failure of nomination;
  7. Section 44 which deals with format of ballot paper;
  8. Section 49(4)  which deals with malfunction of a card reader;
  9. Section 67 which deals with endorsement on rejected ballot paper without official mark;
  10. Section 76 which deals with forms to be used during elections;
  11. Section 78 which deals with the powers of the electoral commission to register political parties;
  12. Section 82 which deals with the logos and symbols of political parties;
  13. Section 85 which deal with the notice of convention, congress of political parties.
  14. Section 87 which deals with the nomination of candidates by political parties;
  15. Section 87(13) which deals with the specific time frame for the conduct of primary elections by political parties;
  16. Section 91 which deals with limits on election expenses by political parties;
  17. Section 99 which deals with the limits on political broadcast and campaign by political parties,
  18. Section 112 which deals with the death of a chairman before oath of office,
  19. Section 120 which deals with the improper use of voters cards,
  20. Section 138 which deals with grounds for filing election petition,
  21. Section 140(4) which deals with the omission of the name of a candidate or logo of a political party;
  22. Section 143 which deals with persons elected to remain in office pending determination of appeal on election
  23. Section 151 which deals with inspection of electoral documents; and
  24. First Schedule of the Principal Act