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HomeLatestNational Townhall Addresses Pressing Electoral Reforms

National Townhall Addresses Pressing Electoral Reforms

Toba Owojaiye reporting
Abuja, Nigeria

 

In a pivotal move towards enhancing Nigeria’s democratic processes, the Joint Committee on Electoral Matters, in collaboration with Yiaga Africa and the European Union Delegation, conducted a Citizens’ Townhall on Electoral Reforms at Ladi Kwali Hall, Abuja Continental Hotel, on Tuesday, 28th November, 2023.

TruthLive News reports that the event was well graced by Sowore AAC Presidential candidate, the past INEC chairman, Prof Jega, and other dignitaries

• Sen. Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli, Chairman, Senate Committee on Electoral Matters
• Hon. Prince Bayo Balogun, Chairman, House Committee on Electoral Matters
• Yiaga Africa
• H.E Rt. Hon Tajudeen Abass
Speaker, House of Representatives
• H.E Senator Godswill Akpabio
President of the Senate
• Sen. Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli, Chairman, Senate Committee on Electoral Matters
• Hon. Prince Bayo Balogun, Chairman, House Committee on Electoral Matters
• Sen. Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli, Chairman, Senate Committee on Electoral Matters
• Hon. Prince Bayo Balogun, Chairman, House Committee on Electoral Matters

Against the backdrop of Nigeria’s continued commitment to democratic consolidation, the imperative for reviewing the electoral legal framework became evident after the complexities revealed in the 2022 Electoral Act during the last general election. Although the Act introduced key provisions, including timely election funding, early party primaries, and electronic accreditation of voters, implementation gaps surfaced, leading to calls for comprehensive electoral reforms.

Stakeholders, ranging from political parties to civil society organizations, emphasized the need for reforms to address the shortcomings in the legal framework. Judicial pronouncements following the 2023 general election further underscored the urgency for improvements. The 10th National Assembly responded with a commitment to review the electoral legal framework, focusing on unbundling INEC, mandatory electronic result transmission, and addressing other identified gaps.

The townhall aimed to create a national platform for dialogue on electoral reforms, facilitating a consultative process to identify and address ambiguities and inadequacies in the Electoral Act 2022. Direct engagement with citizens was prioritized to highlight their perspectives and priorities for electoral reforms in the National Assembly.

Presentations and discussions revolved around key electoral reform issues, including the unbundling of INEC, the mode of appointment for INEC Chairman and Commissioners, voting rights, early voting, diaspora voting, voter registration, nomination of candidates, electoral technology, ballot management, election results management, electoral offences prosecution, pre-election and post-election litigation, election security, violence prevention, voter suppression, vote buying, and tackling hate speech, disinformation, and fake news.

The collaborative effort between the Joint Committee on Electoral Matters, Yiaga Africa, and the European Union Delegation is a crucial step toward ensuring that the electoral legal framework aligns with the evolving needs and expectations of Nigerians.

The townhall provided a vital platform for citizens to contribute to the ongoing dialogue, emphasizing the importance of their input in shaping the future of the nation’s electoral processes.

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