Lawmakers amend 2019 Elections Timetable

The House of Representatives on Tuesday revised the Electoral Act to change the request of 2019 general decisions' timetable.

This came scarcely a month after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) discharged the time-table for the general decisions.

With the revision, the National Assembly decision is to hold in the first place, trailed by the gubernatorial and state get together surveys, and presidential race to be directed last.

The revision was made at the Committee of the House, managed by the Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun.

The administrators revised the Act while considering the report of the House Committee on Electoral Matters which proposed change of the Electoral Act 2010 (as altered).

In the time-table discharged by INEC, Presidential and National Assembly decisions were to hold to start with, while governorship and state gathering would take after.

The House changed area 25 of the Principal Act and substituted it with another segment 25 (1).

As indicated by the area, the races might be held in the accompanying request: (a) National Assembly decision (b) State Houses of Assembly and Governorship races (c) Presidential race.

Essentially, area 87 was corrected by including another segment 87 (11) with a peripheral note "time for primaries of political gatherings".

“The primaries of political parties shall follow the following sequence (i) State House of Assembly (ii) National Assembly (iii) Governorship, and (iv), President.

“The dates for the above stated primaries shall not be held earlier than 120 days and not later than 90 days before the date of elections to the offices.”

The House also amended section 36 to allow running mate of a candidate who dies before the conclusion of elections inherit his votes and continue with the process.

Section 35 which states that if a candidate dies before an election, he will be replaced by the next contestant with the highest vote was also amended.

The amendment indicated that if a nominated candidate dies in the election process, the next person from the same political party with the second highest votes in the primary election should replace the deceased.

It stated that the name of the new person should be submitted to INEC, which should accept such replacement as if the deceased was alive.

The House also made an increment in the limitation of election expenses to be incurred by candidates for presidential candidates from N1 billion to N5 billion.

It raised the governorship bill from N200 million to N1 billion, while Senatorial and Representatives candidates’ expenses are not to exceed N100 million and N70 million, respectively.

For State Assembly and local government chairmanship elections, candidates’ expenses had been raised from N10 million to N30 million while councillorship candidates ceiling was raised from N1 million to N5 million.

Similarly, individual contribution had been jerked up from N1 million to N10 million.