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INEC seeks amendment of electoral legal framework

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has proposed the amendment of the Electoral Legal Framework to deepen the deployment of technology and reduce the cost of elections in the country.

It noted that experiences from recent elections revealed certain shortcomings in the electoral legal framework that need to be addressed through new legislation.

The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, noted that a review of the Electoral Act and Electoral Legal Framework must be anchored on curbing the incidence of violence and sundry malpractices among other factors.

He said that increasing citizens’ confidence by enhancing the transparency and credibility of the electoral process, entrenching internal democracy within political parties and reducing the cost of elections, among others, were paramount in the review.

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Yakubu, who spoke yesterday in Lagos at the opening of a week-long retreat on the review of the electoral legal framework jointly organised by the commission, European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), however, said that how soon the amendment would be passed into law is in the court of the National Assembly and the Executive to assent it.

He said: “As election managers, we conduct elections. We also monitor pre-election activities such as party primaries and handle post-election processes, including the outcome of litigations.

“Therefore, we must at this meeting cast our nets wide by dissecting the Electoral Act in the light of experience and proposing wide-ranging amendments that will give the nation an electoral legal framework that can truly protect their choice and guarantee free, fair and credible elections.

“Listening to Nigerians, it is clear that a review of Electoral Act in particular and our electoral legal framework in general, must be anchored on a number of factors which include, entrenching internal democracy within political parties, ensuring inclusivity in the electoral process for marginalized segments of society such as women, youths and persons living with disability and ensuring violators of electoral laws are effectively sanctioned.”

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INECMahmood Yakubu
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