‘Presidency rejects electoral bill to check frivolities’
The Presidency, yesterday, declared that the rejection of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill was to avert a severe spike in the cost of holding primary elections, as going ahead would amount to spending public money, which would only benefit the richest political parties.
Speaking through the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the Presidency said the prevailing global economic crunch besetting many nations calls for prudence and not engaging in financial frivolities.
His words: “At a time when the nation is seeking to extricate itself from the economic mire of the worst global health crisis in living memory, whatever other merits the new bill may have, now is not the time for such frivolous spending of public money.
“The President’s decision to withhold assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021 has come under scrutiny from media and political circles. This is quite correct because it is a decision that will impact all Nigerians. The President’s Office has decided therefore to issue an official statement to make its position clear.
“Nigeria’s strength as a nation and its status as one of the wealthiest economies in Africa with one of its highest standards of living owes above all to its proud democratic processes, which are enshrined in the Electoral Act of 2010.”
Shehu continued: “It is this act which the new bill seeks to amend. These amendments have been presented as a means to enhance and build upon our democratic processes. After careful review, the President’s Office has found that the opposite is true.
“Rather, the proposed amendments entail significant legal, financial, economic and security consequences for all Nigerians, principal among which would be a severe spike in the cost of holding primary elections by parties – integral to democracies the world over.”