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Bill on sequence of elections will ignite crisis, Senate Leader Warns

Bill on sequence of elections will ignite crisis, Senate Leader Warns

Senators on Wednesday expressed divergent views on the provisions of the Electoral Act Bill as it relates to sequence of elections.

The senators took turns to speak on the reintroduced bill which was sponsored by Suleiman Nazif (APC, Bauchi North).

In the new bill, the proposed election sequence seeks to make the governorship election come first, followed by that of state Houses of Assembly and National Assembly and then Presidential election last.

The National Assembly Conference Committee on Electoral Act (amendment) Bill had recently adopted a reordered sequence of the 2019 general elections, putting the Presidential election last.

This has initiated a series of controversies in the polity with some senators of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) saying it was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari, to prevent his re-election.

Watch Also: Election Sequence: Senator Akpabio supports Buhari, opposes bill

Both chambers of the National Assembly, though dominated by the APC, amended the order of the election. The proposed sequence of elections would make the National Assembly election take place first 2019, followed by governorship and state Houses of Assembly, and Presidential as last.

This is against the sequence rolled out by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) late 2017, which put Presidential and National Assembly elections first and governorship and state assembly following.

President Buhari on March 13 refused assent to the bill, after it was forwarded to his office. He had said the amendments if allowed to pass will violate parts of the constitution.

Shortly after the bill was refused by the president, the Federal High Court restrained the Senate from proceeding with further actions on the matter.

The restraining order followed an application by counsel to the Accord Party, Wole Olanipekun, who asked the court to stop the lawmakers from tampering with the electoral act.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2HAqllX

Bill on sequence of elections will ignite crisis, Senate Leader Warns

Bill on sequence of elections will ignite crisis, Senate Leader Warns

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