October 24, 2021

2023 Elections: Senate Moves to Endorse Direct Primaries for Political Parties

There are indications that the leadership of the Senate has commenced moves to force only the direct method of conducting primary elections on political parties.

Part of the moves, according to sources, are plans by the APC lawmakers to bring to the floor of the Senate direct primary as an Amendment Bill to be passed, using their numerical strength.

The current system allows political parties to use either direct or indirect method of conducting primary elections.

Both chambers have already passed how parties will conduct their primaries, in the Electoral Act Amendment bill.

While the House of Representatives’ version of the bill has direct primaries, the Senate passed both direct and indirect methods.

Conference committees had been set up to harmonise grey areas in the bill. But members of the House committee were said to have agreed with the Senate on both direct and indirect.

A source familiar with the workings of the harmonisation panel said there have been moves to tinker with the decision.

“The Senate President and his deputy want to bring it to the floor because they are afraid that the conference committee will not be able to give them what they want and that is direct primaries. Even the House Committee wants it to be followed by accepting the Senate version of direct and indirect.”

“The Senate had agreed on direct and indirect primaries, but the leadership of the Senate wants to turn things around by bringing it up at Plenary on Tuesday, a decision which had been reached and a conference committee set up. Right now, it is a personal interest.”

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