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The Senate has given the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) a green light to determine the mode of transmission of election results, either electronic or manual.
The Senate also reversed its previous position and agreed that all political parties must use the main direct method of selecting candidates.
In its previous amendment of July, the Senate approved direct and indirect methods.
The landmark moves came barely 24 hours after Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Villa on Monday.
The decision of the Senate followed the re-committal of some clauses of the Electoral Act 2010 to the Committee of the Whole.
In July, the Senate rejected its committee’s report, which had approved electronic transmission of results by INEC. The House of Representatives, however, approved it.
The Senate said: “After a critical examination of the Bill by the Senate Committee on INEC, some fundamental issues which require fresh legislative action on clauses 43, 52, 63 and 87, were observed.”
“Desirous of the need to address the observations by the committee and make necessary amendments, and relying on Order 1(b) and 53(6) of the Senate Standing Order, accordingly resolves to rescind its decision on the affected clauses of the Bill as passed and re-commit same to the Committee of the Whole for consideration and passage,” Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi stated while moving the motion.
The Senate, had in July while rejecting the position of its Committee on INEC, opted for a position, which was outrightly rejected by Nigerians.
The Senate approved four clauses in the electoral act amendment bill.
Part of the clause amended, read: “Subject to section 63 of this Bill, voting at an election and transmission of results under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission (INEC), which may include electronic voting.
“A political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Bill shall hold direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which shall be monitored by the Commission.”
The Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC) believes that electronic transmission of results would go a long way in deepening the nation’s political process critical for inclusive, free, fair, credible, transparent and generally acceptable elections.
National Publicity Secretary, IPAC, Ambassador Agbo Major, in a statement released said: “Reversing itself is a giant step forward in making Nigeria a great arsenal of democracy in Africa. Manipulation of election results, ballot box snatching, violence, vote-buying and selling are the bane of the nation’s electoral process.”