The Senate gives INEC the authority to decide on e-transmission of results.
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The Senate gives INEC the authority to decide on e-transmission of results.

The Senate gives INEC the authority to decide on e-transmission of results.

After months of public criticism, the Senate rescinded its decision on electronic transmission of election results on Tuesday.

The Senate passed the Electoral Act Amendment bill in July, which included provisions that allowed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to transmit election results electronically after receiving network coverage approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Assembly approval.

The bill, as passed by the House of Representatives, gives INEC sole authority to transmit election results electronically “where and when practicable.”

Since then, the Senate has been caught in the eye of a storm, forcing it to reverse its decision.

The two chambers formed a conference Committee to work out the bill’s kinks.

This week’s meeting of the Harmonization Panel is scheduled.

The Senate passed a new bill that amended some clauses in the Electoral Act, including sections 52 and 87 on electronic transmission of results and political party nomination of candidates.

“Recommittal of Amended Clauses of a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Electoral Bill, 2021 and Enact the Electoral Act, 2021,” the bill’s title reads.

The contentious clause 52(3) has been changed to 52(2), which states: “Subject to section 63 of this Bill, voting at an election and transmitting results under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission (INEC), which may include electronic voting.”

The Senate had previously passed Clause 87(1), which allows parties to hold either direct or indirect primary elections.

“A political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Bill shall hold direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which shall be monitored by the Commission,” the clause now reads.

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