By Ayo Kehinde
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mahmood Yakubu has disclosed that the Commission is proposing 34 amendments to the Electoral Act.
Yakubu, said the agency is committed to the review of the Electoral Act to enhance better conduct of elections.
Speaking at the opening of a week-long retreat on the review of the electoral legal framework jointly organised by the commission, the European Centre for Electoral Support, ECES, and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, IFES,
Yakubu said the retreat was organised to complete the Commission’s full proposal to the National Assembly for amendment to the electoral legal framework.
He said; “Our draft is ready, but requires further internal review ahead of submission to the National Assembly.
“The review of the Electoral Act will increase citizens’ confidence, enhance the transparency and credibility of the electoral process; entrench internal democracy within political parties; reduce violence, expand the scope of participation for women, youths and people living disability; deepen the use of technology and foster independence of INEC.
“I am glad to know that members of the Senate Committee on INEC and House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters are joining us on Thursday and Friday for in-depth review of both their proposal and our input.
“This is the first time that the National Assembly and INEC are coming together on electoral reform. We look forward to this opportunity to serve Nigerians better.”
According to the Commission’s Director of Legal Services, Oluwatoyin Babalola, there are certain shortcomings in the electoral legal framework that needed to be addressed through legislation.
She said the INEC in collaboration with relevant stakeholders had identified some gaps in the provisions of the extant Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), adding that while Commission’s proposals were accepted, the executive did not sign the amended Electoral Act.
The 37 RECs, national commissioners and directors of INEC were present at the retreat, expected to be attended by members of the National Assembly Committees on INEC and Electoral Matters on Thursday and Friday.