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Electoral bill: Buhari withholds assent, says direct primary is costly

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday withheld his assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021.


President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday withheld his assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021.

The national assembly after the passage of the bill had, on November 19, transmitted the bill to the president for assent.

According to THISDAY, the president in a letter to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, said that the prevailing situation in the country would not allow him to give his assent to the bill.

Mr Buhari also cited other reasons for rejecting the bill, including the high cost of conducting direct primaries, the security challenge of monitoring the election, violation of citizens’ rights, and marginalization of small political parties.

Mr Buhari said relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of the Government had given their informed advice.

He also said he had carefully reviewed the bill in light of the current realities prevalent in the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the circumstances.

The president said that it would be better to allow each political party to determine its mode of selecting candidates for election.

“The amendment as proposed is the violation of the underlying spirit of democracy, which is characterised by freedom of choices of which political party membership is a voluntary exercise of the constitutional right of freedom of association,” the president was quoted as saying in the letter.”, TheCable reported.


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