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Sunday, 28 July 2013

‘Senate stance on electoral reform disturbing’

Written by Abbas Jimoh

The inability of the Senate to act decisively on the appointment of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is disturbing.
This is part of the resolutions at the end of a meeting between the Partners for Electoral Reform (PER) and Youth Alliance on Constitution and Electoral Reform (YACORE) yesterday in Abuja.
PER chairman, Ezenwa Nwagwu and YACORE national coordinator, Somson Itodo, told newsmen that they were shocked that the key positions of majority of Nigerians on electoral reform were not captured in the Senate’s proceeding.
“Some of the key recommendations not captured include removing the powers to appoint INEC chairman from the President and vesting it in the National Judicial Council (NJC) to guarantee the independence of INEC; establishment of an Electoral Offence Commission to prosecute electoral offences; mainstreaming independence candidacy into Nigeria electoral process and constitutional classification of youth and lowering the age for contesting elections in Nigeria.
“We commend the House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review for respecting the will of the people by capturing some recommendations on electoral reform in her proposed amendments. We urge the legislators both in the House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly to respect the will of the people as they vote on amendments to the Constitutions,” Nwagu said.

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