National Assembly pledges new Electoral Act

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INEC promises to conclude pending bye-elections

A new Electoral Act to guide the conduct of the 2019 election will be ready before the end of this year, the Senate promised yesterday.

The Senate President Bukola Saraki said this at a one-day summit on Electoral Reform organised by the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in collaboration with the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) at the National Assembly yesterday.

He said the National Assembly would also consider halting the trend of “inconclusive elections” in the country.

“‎We must conclude the amendment by the end of the year. My view is that politics starts now and early, let us amend the areas we all agreed on because we may not agree on all the issues,” Saraki said.

According to Saraki, ‎the National Assembly would also consider the streamlining the roles of security agencies in elections and also revealed that the new Electoral Act might grant the request of Nigerians in Diaspora to be allowed to participate in general elections adding that even the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) regarding the need to be allowed to take part in future elections would be considered.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed at the summit that all pending rerun elections would have been concluded by July 31.

Yakubu explained that since the conclusion of the 2015 general election, INEC had conducted a total number of 129 elections which he listed to include: 49 rerun elections out of the 80 nullified polls by elections petitions tribunals; 10 bye-elections in various constituencies resulting from the death of members of state and national assemblies; 68 elections in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and two end of tenure elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States, among others.

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