Senate reportedly plans to impose direct primaries on political parties

A source claims APC lawmakers are the brains behind the plan.

Nigerian Senate [Tope Brown]

The leadership of the Senate are reportedly planning to impose direct primaries on political parties as the only method of conducting primary elections.

According to Daily Trust, the All Progressives Congress lawmakers in the Senate are working to bring the matter to the floor on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, as an Amendment Bill to be passed, using their numerical strength.

Currently, political parties are allowed to use either direct or indirect method to conduct their primary elections.

Also, in the Electoral Act Amendment bill, both the Senate and the House of Representatives have already approved methods for party primaries.

While the Senate passed both direct and indirect methods, the House of Reps approved direct primaries.

Conference committees had also been set up to harmonise grey areas in the bill, while the House committee were said to have agreed with the Senate’s position on the methods.

However, a source close to the harmonisation committee disclosed to Daily Trust that there are moves to tinker with the decision.

According to the source, “The Senate President and his deputy want to bring it to the floor because they are afraid that the conference committee will not be able to give them what they want and that is direct primaries. Even the House Committee wants it to be followed by accepting the Senate version of direct and indirect.

“The Senate had agreed on direct and indirect primaries, but the leadership of the Senate wants to turn things around by bringing it up at Plenary on Tuesday, a decision which had been reached and a conference committee set up. Right now, it is a personal interest.”

Direct primary allows registered members of a party to directly vote for their choice aspirant to become the candidate of the party, while indirect primary allows members of a party to elect delegates, who’ll in turn elect the party’s candidate(s) at a congress or convention.

The elected delegates are usually party leaders and members of the executives at the ward, local government area and state levels.

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