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Electoral Amendment Bill: Hope Dashed For Independent Candidacy – Senate

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The Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the electoral Act Amendment Bill that is underway has failed to capture the Independent candidacy. According to the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabir Gaya, the provision has no constitutional backing and therefore cannot be considered, though there is a separate bill pushing for the same, he said.

The Federal House of Reps has last year proposed the piece of legislation that supposed to have given legal backing for individuals that wanted to vie for a political elective position without any political party sponsorship.

While speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, Senator Gaya said, unless the constitution is amended, the independent candidacy cannot be captured.

He explained that “A lot of views have been expressed in the report on the electoral act amendment bill. Some are talking about the independent candidacy of which we say we cannot do that.

“This is because the independent candidacy is still not in the constitution and the electoral act is inferior to the Constitution so we cannot have another law which supersedes the constitution.”

Currently, the provision of the 1999 Constitution allows only those nominated by political parties to vie for elective positions.

Meanwhile, to alter this provision, both chambers of the National Assembly and the two-third of the state Assembly must give approval to the provision so that it becomes a law, the Senator added.