No room for independent candidacy in electoral act amendment bill – Senate panel says

Kabiru Gaya, chairman of the committee, said the provision cannot be considered as part of the bill because it has no constitutional backing.

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The senate committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the electoral act amendment bill cannot accommodate independent candidacy.

Kabiru Gaya, chairman of the committee, said the provision cannot be considered as part of the bill because it has no constitutional backing.

There is, however, a separate bill proposing such a constitutional amendment.

The house of representatives had in 2020 proposed the piece of legislation that gives legal backing for individuals not sponsored by any political party to contest for elective offices.

Speaking at the NAN forum in Abuja, Gaya said unless the constitution is amended, the electoral act cannot adopt provisions for independent candidacy.

“A lot of views have been expressed in the report on the electoral act amendment bill. Some are talking about the independent candidacy of which we say we cannot do that.

“This is because the independent candidacy is still not in the constitution and the electoral act is inferior to the Constitution so we cannot have another law which supersedes the constitution.”

The 1999 constitution currently allows candidates nominated by political parties to contest in elections.

For that to change, both chambers of the national assembly alongside the 36 state houses of assembly must adopt the constitutional amendment bill seeking to alter the provision.

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