Wednesday May 12, 2021 9:14 AM

INEC pushes for reforms to end frequent bye-elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is pushing for Electoral reforms that will stop frequent bye-elections in Nigeria

The electoral umpire  is calling for an amendment to sections 68, 109 and 117 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) so that frequent bye-elections would be a thing of the past .

If the amendment scales through, the candidate of the party with the next highest votes in the election will replace the occupant that dies or resigns or was recalled.

The Commission also want all pre-election disputes to be concluded before the conduct of the general election so as to allow occupant of offices to concentrate.

The INEC National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, made these proposals known  at the 2020 annual summit of political parties and stakeholders which had the the theme: “Two decades of party politics and democracy in Nigeria: Issues and prospects.”

The summit was organised in Abuja by the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) and Political Parties Leadership and Policy Training Centre.

Okoye tosaid: “Our proposition is that resignation of membership should devolve the seat automatically to the candidate and political party that came second in the election while the political party that sponsored a late candidate should replace him through their own internal party mechanisms.

“This will engender more respect for the sovereign right of the voters, make elected representatives more responsive and reduce the spate of by-elections in Nigeria thereby saving the taxpayers’ money.”

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