Why Buhari Refused To Sign Electoral Amendment Bill Into Law
President Muhammadu Buhari has declined to sign the Electoral Amendment bill into law in order to avoid a disruption of processes in the 2019 polls.
He reveals this in a letter reportedly addressed to the National Assembly on Thursday, December 6, 2018.
“I am declining assent to the Bill principally because I am concerned that passing a new electoral bill this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general election which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process,” Buhari notes in a report by The Cable News.
In the letter, the president fears that implementing a new electoral amendment few weeks to the elections may invite misunderstanding that can prove costly.
According to reports, the last time Buhari turned down a request to sign the bill was in September when he advised on a need to revise some texts in the sensitive document.
He makes a similar suggestion in the letter to the parliament.
“It is also important for the following drafting amendments to be made to the Bill: section 5 of the Bill, amending section 18 of the Principal Act should indicate the subsection to which the substitution of the figure ’30’ for the figure “60” is to be affected.
“Section 11 of the Bill, amending Section 36 should indicate the subsection in which the proviso is to be introduced.
“Section 24 of the Bill which amends Section 85 (1) should be redrafted in full as the introduction of the ‘electing’ to the sentence may be interpreted to mean that political parties may give 21 days notice of the intention to merge, as opposed to the 90 days provided in Section 84 (2) of the Electoral Act which provides the provision for merge of political parties.
“The definition of the term ‘Ward Collection officer’ should be revised to reflect a more descriptive definition than the capitalized and undefined term “Registration Area Collation Officer.”