INEC Lists Criteria For Military Deployment During Elections
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday supported an amendment of the Electoral Act which constitutionally limits the role of the Nigerian Armed Forces in elections.
Also, the electoral umpire foreclosed any hope of electronic and diaspora voting in the 2015 elections.
INEC further asked the National Assembly to extend the time for conduct of run-off elections for the offices of President and Governor from seven days to 21 days.
Meanwhile, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), an association of all the 25 registered political parties in Nigeria, has called on the National Assembly to outlaw “cross-carpeting” by politicians to other political parties after winning
elections on a platform of the party.
The IPAC chairman, Dr Yunusa Tanko who doubles as national chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP) said the decision was unanimously taken after a meeting of the political parties.
The disclosures were fallouts of position papers presented on Tuesday by stakeholders in the Nigerian electoral system during a one-day House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters Public Hearing on the amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act.
On the deployment of the country’s armed forces in elections, INEC in its position paper presented by its chairman, Attahiru Jega backed the amendment of Section 29(1) of the Electoral Act which inserts a new paragraph(b) that limits the role of the military to “securing the distribution and delivery of electoral materials”.
The new paragraph(b) reads in part:
“The commission shall be responsible for requesting for the deployment of relevant security personnel necessary for elections or registration of voters and shall assign them in the manner determined by the commission in consultation with the relevant security agencies.
On diaspora voting, Jega stated that while INEC was seeking constitutional amendments to allow for electronic and diaspora voting, it can only be adopted in “subsequent elections” from 2015.
“It will be difficult for INEC to prepare adequately for the process. There is simply no time to do that; we will not be able to do electronic voting in whatever form on or before the 2015 elections,” Jega told the Hon Jerry Manwe-led House Committee on Electoral Matters.