Senate stands down electoral bill consideration

Senate on Thursday halted consideration of Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 for third reading and passage, until Tuesday.

The bill, captured on the Order Paper, was stood down at plenary for more legislative work.

Announcing the development, Leader of the Senate, Mr Ahmad Lawan, said “in view of the sensitive nature of the bill and its importance, it is vital to give the committee more time to do a thorough job”.

After his remarks on it, President of Senate, Mr Bukola Saraki, put the issue to voice vote and the “step down’’ was unanimously adopted.

The bill scaled second reading on October 10, a day after the Red Chamber resumed from recess.

The ongoing process on the bill is the fourth attempt by lawmakers to have it ready for the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Buhari had on September 3, declined assent to the Bill, transmitted to him by National Assembly on August 3, for the third time.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Mr Ita Enang, in a statement in Abuja, announced the president’s decision.

He had explained that the president declined endorsement of the bill due to some drafting issues and the period fixed for political parties’ primaries, among others.

In February, the president rejected the first Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 forwarded to him for assent and gave reasons.

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