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Nigerian govt, NASS to reach agreement on contentious section of Electoral Act – Presidency

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The Presidency said on Sunday the National Assembly and the Executive would reach a consensus on the contentious Section 84 of the newly signed Electoral Act.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, stated this in a statement titled: “Assent into Law of the Electoral Act 2022: Landmark moment for the Nation.”

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday rejected Section 84 (12) of the newly signed Electoral Act which required political office holders to resign their appointments at least three months before election.

He said the section was at variance with the provision of the 1999 Constitution which requires political office holders to resign their appointments at least 30 days before the election.

In his statement, Shehu clarified that the Act was meant to redress the issue of abuse of office by politicians who make use of available resources for campaigns.

He said: “The Act also addresses the misuse of appointed political office as a platform and source of resources from which to campaign for elected political office. In the coming days or weeks, the parliament and the executive should reach a common ground on the issue raised by the President at the point of signing the law, which is the requirement for appointed political office holders to first resign before being eligible to vote or stand for election in the primaries for elective offices.

“These are crucial changes to the law which will benefit voters not parties, empower citizens not politicians, and strengthen our democracy as part of President Buhari’s legacy to our nation.”

READ ALSO: New Electoral Act, Buhari’s best legacy to Nigeria – IPAC

Shehu commended President Buhari for signing the Electoral Act, saying it would herald massive changes in the electoral system and preserve the country’s democracy.

He added: “The assent to the Electoral Act 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari after the back and forth on some controversial provisions underscores the perfect workings of a parliament and executive both driven by new energy to deliver CHANGE in a country where the people want to move in a different direction.

“This of course runs parallel to that which we witnessed in the past when self-interest overrode the nation’s and the fashioning of electoral acts.

“More than anything else, this law underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring free and fair elections, dignity of the citizens, opportunity and justice to all political participants whether they are voters or candidates.

“This law furthers social empowerment and inclusion by limiting the influence of money on elections and raw power of incumbents to use to the disadvantage of opponents outside the political tent. It equally limits the thuggish practice of kingpins who scare voters and officials away, snatch ballot boxes to fill desired outcomes against the popular wish.”

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