Buhari declines assent to Electoral Amendment Bill 2018

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday declined assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2018 recently passed by the National Assembly.

The bill provides for the Presidential election to come last after National Assembly and Governorship elections.

Buhari notified the Senate about his action in a letter dated March 3, 2018, which was read by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, during plenary.

The president said he withheld his assent to the bill because the amendment to the sequence of the elections in Section 25 of the Principal Act might infringe upon the constitutionally guaranteed discretion of INEC.

He stated that the section guaranteed the INEC to organise, undertake and supervise all the elections as provided in Section 15 (a) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution.

“The amendment to Section 138 of the Principal Act to delete two crucial grounds upon which an election may be challenged by candidates, unduly limits rights of candidates in elections to a free and fair electoral review process.

“The amendment to section 152 (325) of the Principal Act may raise constitutional issues over the competence of the National Assembly to legislate over Local Government elections.

“Please accept, Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration,” the president stated. 

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