Crisis looms over party primaries - as Buhari delays Electoral Act

The minority caucus of Nigeria’s house of representatives has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended 2022 Electoral Act immediately to avoid political crisis.

The senate and house of representatives had, last week, passed a bill seeking to enable statutory delegates to vote at the conventions and congresses of political parties.

The bill was subsequently transmitted to Buhari for assent on Friday, but the president who travels to United Arab Emirates today, has so far withheld his assent.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Ndudi Elumelu, leader of the minority caucus, said the delay in signing the amended Electoral Act portends a political crisis and could affect the conduct of the 2023 general election.

The lawmakers asked Buhari to “immediately sign the one item amendment to the Electoral Act 2022 transmitted to him by the National Assembly for assent since last week so as to avert an imminent political crisis in the country”.

“The Caucus notes with grave concern that Mr. President’s delay in signing the single amendment to Section 84 (8) to the Electoral Act 2022 has thrown the nation into serious confusion and constitutes a huge threat to our democracy and the smooth conduct of the 2023 general elections,” the lawmakers said.

“The Minority Caucus urges President Buhari to note that any further delay in signing the amendment to the Electoral Act to give political parties a sense of direction in the conduct of primaries for the election of candidates for the 2023 general elections has the capacity to derail our entire democratic process and destabilize our dear nation.

“As representatives of the people, the Minority Caucus urges Mr. President to avert an imminent political crisis which has the capacity of exacerbating the security situation in the country by immediately signing the Amendment to the Electoral Act 2022 and leave a legacy of a credible electoral process to the nation.”

The legislators called on civil society organisations and the international community to “prevail on Buhari to immediately sign the amendment to the Electoral Act 2022 and save our nation from an avoidable crisis.”


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