The ninth national assembly, is set to pass the Electoral (Amendment) Bill this week that will be transmitted to the President for assent.
The bill seeks to amend the election laws of Nigeria, otherwise called Electoral Act, and it addresses issues such as the cost of politics, internal democracy, the use of technological innovations and fills gaps in extant provisions.
The Electoral Amendment Bill, when passed and signed into law, would, among other things, empower the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct transparent elections in Nigeria.
INEC stated last year that it is working with the National Assembly to introduce technology enhanced solutions into Nigeria’s Electoral Act to make elections more credible in Nigeria.
Recall that the Electoral Act has previously been amended in 2004, 2006 and 2010 by parliament as the nation seeks to strengthen and improve conduct of elections which is the backbone of any democracy.
The eighth National Assembly under the leadership of Bukola Saraki, had made efforts to get the bill signed into law but President Muhammadu Buhari declined in March 2018, stating that the proposed law would usurp the constitutional powers of INEC to decide on election matters.
In September, Buhari turned down the bill for the second time, asking the national assembly to revise some clauses.
In December 2018, Buhari also declined assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill.
The ninth national assembly, however, reintroduced the bill and it passed first and second reading.