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29 Jan 2018

2019 Election: Anxiety And Confusion As House Of Reps Change Election Time Table

Many people do not know what yet to expect after members of the House of Representatives rejigged the election timetable.
House of Representatives

Many people are still not not sure how things will pan out in the upcoming 2019 election after the House of Representatives on Tuesday changed the order of elections.

Although the consideration of the matter generated interests from many members, the amendment was endorsed by members when the House considered and approved further amendments to the Electoral Act, 2010.

The recommendations were made by the House Committee on Electoral Matters chaired by an All Progressives Congress member from Gombe State, Mrs. Aisha Dukku.

The rejig means that the presidential election will now come last, as against the current trend of holding the presidential poll first.

A total of 156 clauses were amended in the Act. However, the amendment that generated interest was the re-ordering of elections to place the presidential poll last.

The amendment sought to replace the extant Section 25 in the principal Act with a new one.

The new Section 25(1) states, “Elections into the office of the President and Vice-President, the Governor and Deputy Governor of a state and to the membership of the Senate, the House of Representatives and Houses of Assembly of each state of the federation shall be in the following order; National Assembly elections; state Houses of Assembly and governorship elections; and presidential election. The dates for these elections shall be as appointed by the Independent National Electoral Commission.”

The session of the Committee of the Whole, which endorsed the recommendation was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun.

In 2015, presidential and National Assembly elections came first.

However, the bill will await concurrence by the Senate and a final assent by President Muhammadu Buhari for the changes to come into effect.

This will also mean that the 2019 elections timetable already released by INEC will be altered soon after the presidential assent.

By INEC’s timetable, the National Assembly and presidential elections are scheduled to hold first.

Among other recommendations endorsed by the House, candidates seeking to withdraw from an election can do so 30 days ahead.

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