Civil Society reject Senate’s introduction of consensus as a mode for the nomination of candidates in the Electoral Bill 2021
The undersigned Civil Society groups commend the swift action taken by the National Assembly upon its resumption to review its position on direct primaries as the sole mode of nomination of candidates in the Electoral Bill 2021.
At today’s plenary, the Senate and House of Representatives recommitted the Electoral Bill with proposed amendment to Clause 84 dealing with nomination of candidates. The Senate voted to legalize direct, indirect and consensus as procedure for the nomination of candidates while the House of Representatives voted to recognize direct and indirect primaries as the acceptable mode of nomination of candidates.See also: Electoral Amendment: House of Reps Accommodates Indirect Primaries
We reject the decision of the Senate to introduce consensus as a procedure for candidates’ nomination in the Electoral Bill. The Consensus procedure is antithetical to democratic principles and it will result in the subversion of popular will. Furthermore, it violates the rights of aspirants to equal participation in party primary election and it limits the choice of voters to candidates who did not emerge from democratic primary elections. Judging from experience, consensus has occasioned a litany of litigations in Nigeria’s electoral process.
We call on the Senate to, in line with the popular will of Nigerians, adopt the position of the House of Representatives which recognizes direct and indirect primaries as procedure for nomination of candidates.
With this development, a harmonization committee will be constituted by the leadership of the National Assembly to harmonize the divergent positions of both chambers. We call for the immediate constitution of the harmonization committee and conclusion of the process on or before the January 21, 2022 deadline. As indicated in our earlier statement, any further delay will undermine public confidence in the reform
International Press Centre (IPC)
Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD)
The Albino Foundation
Institute for Media and Society (IMS)
Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF)
Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ)
Partners for Electoral Reform (PER)
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC)
Nigeria Network of Non-Governmental Organizations (NNNGO)