Administrative Law

New Improvements in the Electoral Bill

  1. Early Release of Election Funds to INEC- the act has strengthened the financial independence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by ensuring that all funding requires for conducting the general election is released not later than one year before the next general election. Clause 3(3)  
  2. Inclusion of Persons With Disability- the commission shall take reasonable steps to ensure that persons with disabilities, special needs and vulnerable persons are assisted at the polling centers by the provision of suitable means of communication, such as Braile, language interpretation, or off-site voting in appropriate cases. Clause 54(2)
  3. Electronic Accreditation of Voters- this Bill makes provision for electronic accreditation of voters using the Smart Card Readers or any technological device as may be determined by INEC Clause 47
  4. Redefined Overvoting- Overvoting occurs where the numbers of votes cast in an election in any poling unit exceed the total number of accredited voters in that polling unit. With this new provision, ‘total number of accredited voters’, will become the determining factor in the validity of votes in an election. Clause 51
  5. Substitution of Candidate in the event of Death in an Election- the bill affords political parties the opportunity to conduct primary elections to replace a candidate who dies after the commencement of polls and before the announcement of final results and declaration of a winner. A 21 days timeline is provided by INEC to conclude an election and declare a winner. it also prescribe that in a case of legislative elections, the election will start afresh, and any political party affected by the bereavement can conduct a new primary within 14 days to nominata a new candidate. however, in a case of presidential and governorshipelection, the running mate of the deceased candidate will continue the election and nominate a running mate.
  6. Power to Review Election Results Decleared Under Duress– the bill confers INEC with the power to review declarations and returns made under questionable circumstances, to keep Returning Officers in check, and ensure full compliance with electoral guidelines. Clause 65
  7. Early Conducion of Party’s Primaries and Submission of List of Candidate- Every political party is now required to not later than 180 days before the date appointed for gneral election to submit the lit of candidates the party proposes to sponsor at the election to the Commission, who must have emerge from a valid primaries conducted by the political party. Clause 29(1)
  8. Early Commencement of Campaigns- the period for public campaigns has been extended from 90 days to 150 days before the polling day and will end 24 hours before the polling day. Clause 94
  9. Political Nuetrality of INEC Personnels upon Appointment and Purnishment for Contravention- a person who being a member of a political party, misrepresents himself by not disclosing his membership, affiliation, or connection to any political party in order to secure an appointment in any capacity with the commission, comits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine of N 5 000 000 or imprisonment term not exceeding two years.
  10. Electronic Transmission of Results- this bill confers on INEC the power to determine whether election results are transmited electronically or mannually. clause 50.