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  • Electoral Act Amendment Bill: CSOs urge NASS to vote in favour of Nigerians on 10 priority areas
  • Electoral Act Amendment Bill: CSOs urge NASS to vote in favour of Nigerians on 10 priority areas

    By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

    Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, Thursday, urged National Assembly Joint-Committee on INEC and Electoral Matters to vote in favour of Nigerians on 10 priority areas and deliver a new Electoral Act in the first quarter of 2021.

    This was contained in a letter written to the Joint-Committee and signed by leaders of the CSOs including Albino Foundation; Centre for Citizens with Disability; Center for Liberty; CLEEN Foundation; Institute for Media and Society; International Press Centre; NESSACTION; Nigeria Women’s Trust Fund; Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism; Millennials Active Citizenship Advocacy Africa; and Raising New Voices.

    The 10 priority areas on the Electoral Act Amendment the CSOs are calling on members of the National Assembly to vote for include: Strengthen the financial Independence of the Commission; Publication of polling unit level results by INEC; Protecting the voting rights of Visually impaired and Incapacitated Voters; Cost of Nomination of Candidates; Promoting the inclusion of women, youth, and persons living with disability in politics.

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    Legitimize the use of technology in the electoral process through electronic accreditation of voters, electronic voting and electronic collation and transmission of results; Stiffer Sanctions for Electoral Offences; Regulation of the Conduct of Security Personnel on Election Duty; Early voting for Nigerians on essential election duty; and Voting Rights for Nigerians in Diaspora.

    The Letter with the subject ‘A Clarion Call to Vote in Support of Citizens Top 10 Priorities On Electoral Amendment’ reads in part, “The National Assembly through its Joint-Committee on INEC and Electoral Matters called a public hearing on the Bill for ‘An Act to Repeal the Electoral Act No 6, 2010 (As Amended) and Enact the Independent National Electoral Commission Act 2020’ on 9th December 2020.

    “The public hearing provided citizens with a platform to outline their demands and make inputs into the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. The public hearing was another testament to the 9th National Assembly’s commitments towards reforming the nation’s electoral system and process and ensuring that a new citizen-responsive Electoral Act is activated in a considerably good time.

    “We recognize and deeply appreciate your tireless efforts and that of every member of the National Assembly, particularly all members of the Senate and House of Representatives Joint-Committee on INEC and Electoral Matters in ensuring a new Electoral Act is delivered to Nigerians in the first quarter of 2021. These genuine efforts and partnership with citizens’ have culminated into various wide-ranging recommendations, amongst which are certain priorities that truly respond to our aspirations as a people working to build our electoral democracy.

    “These Citizen’s top 10 Priorities on the Electoral Act Amendment are highlighted in the document attached. These priorities include: Strengthen the financial Independence of the Commission; Publication of polling unit level results by INEC; Protecting the voting rights of Visually impaired and Incapacitated Voters; Cost of Nomination of Candidates; Promoting the inclusion of women, youth, and persons living with disability in politics.

    “Legitimize the use of technology in the electoral process through electronic accreditation of voters, electronic voting and electronic collation and transmission of results; Stiffer Sanctions for Electoral Offences; Regulation of the Conduct of Security Personnel on Election Duty; Early voting for Nigerians on essential election duty; and Voting Rights for Nigerians in Diaspora.”

    According to the CSOs, the outlined priority areas are consistent with the tenets of good governance and democratic consolidation and provide Nigerian citizens, especially young people, women, and people living with disabilities, with the needed confidence in trusting our electoral outcome.

    “Adopting these priorities will elevate Nigeria’s standing globally amongst other nations using the instrumentality of the Law to build their electoral democracy and achieve stability and peace.

    Vanguard News Nigeria

    The post Electoral Act Amendment Bill: CSOs urge NASS to vote in favour of Nigerians on 10 priority areas appeared first on Vanguard News.


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