Electoral Amendment bill: Governor Ortom rejects direct primaries provision

Electoral Amendment bill: Governor Ortom rejects direct primaries provision

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has rejected the provision of direct primary election in the Electoral Amendment Bill passed by the National Assembly, saying it is not in the best interest of the country.

He therefore urged President Buhari not to assent to the bill when transmitted to him until it is amended to provide for indirect primary election.

Mr Ortom stated this during an interaction with journalists in Abuja.

 
The Senate  passed the Electoral Amendment Bill last week with a provision for all political parties to adopt direct primary election in nominating their candidates for the main elections.

The House of Representatives had adopted the direct primary election while passing the bill in July.

The harmonisation committee set up by both chambers adopted the House version, prompting the Senate to review its earlier decision.

Against the 2010 Electoral Act which allows political parties to opt for either direct or indirect mode of primaries, the amended clause of 87(1) by the two chambers said: “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.


Mr Ortom said political parties lack the financial resources to conduct direct primaries, adding that they should be allowed to elect delegates who would choose candidates for elections.

He further stated that INEC does not have the capacity to effectively monitor primary elections.

“The electoral law should allow political parties to adopt any of the processes suitable for them in conducting their primaries.

The adoption of direct party primaries will only give the governors more power to do whatever they want.

“Direct mode of primaries is not in the best interest of Nigeria.


Suzan O/NAN

Electoral Amendment bill: Governor Ortom rejects direct primaries provision

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