Nigeria’s Senate Bows to Public Demand on Electronic Transmission of Votes

Nigeria’s Senate has empowered the country’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the power to choose which mode of transmission it deems fit. 

The decision leaves INEC with the power and discretion to choose between manual and electronic transmission of votes.

The clause was changed from “The Commission may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable” to;

“The commission may consider electronic transmission provided the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigerian Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly.”

Nigeria’s lower legislative, House of Representatives has stuck with the former and a committee has been established to unite the differences in the decisions of both chambers.

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Nigerians had criticised the Senate in July when it gave the National Communications Commission the power to determine the electronic transmission of results.

In its plenary on Tuesday, the Nigerian upper legislative also approved that political parties must stick with direct primaries, as it offers more members of the party a chance at choosing their candidates.

The choice of direct primaries by the Senate was contested by the some Senators who said some parties don’t have enough resources to conduct direct primaries. They asked for the Senate to keep the choice of primaries open.  

Four different clauses – 43, 52, 63 and 87 in the new Electoral bill were amended after complaints and observations from various quarters. 

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The proposed bill is expected to be passed into Law before the 2023 general election.

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