Forum lauds Buhari on assent of Electoral Bill 2022

The Electoral Forum has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for assenting to the Electoral Bill 2022.

The Chairman of The Electoral Forum, Professor Adebayo Olukoshi, in a press statement issued in Abuja said the process of enacting this new law has been long.

He said since the beginning of the 2019-2023 electoral cycle, the ninth National Assembly has been drafting the Bill, consulting with stakeholders, and inviting comments from citizens during public hearings.

“Having gone through the entire process, an earlier version of the consolidated Bill was transmitted to the President for assent in November 2021.

“However, the President declined assent primarily because of the provision that mandated political parties to conduct direct primaries.

“Accordingly, the National Assembly amended the Bill and transmitted it back to the President in January 2022. Under the amended Bill, parties were allowed to adoptdirect primaries, indirect primaries, or consensus as the mode of selecting their candidates.

“Finally, on 25 February 2022, the President assented to the Bill, which has now become the Electoral Act 2022.

“We held numerous technical sessions deliberating on key provisions of the Bill, making recommendations, and engaging with key law- and policymakers, including members of the National Assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“We further urge the National Assembly, in future amendment efforts to consider other contentious areas that require electoral reform, including the mode of appointment of INEC members, timelines for by-elections, and campaign finance,” he said.