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Bill for Independent Candidacy into Elective Positions Passes 2nd Reading

BellaNaija.com

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house-of-repsA bill seeking to introduce independent candidacy in the country’s electoral process on Wednesday scaled through second reading in the House of Representatives.

Hon. Edward Pwajok (PDP-Plateau), who sponsored the bill said that the objective was to open the country’s political space.

“In order to deepen our democracy and open the political space, it has become imperative to allow for the right of individuals to contest for any elective office, not necessarily on the platform of political parties but even as independents,” he said.

The lawmaker expressed concern that the history of political parties in the country had been a chequered one.

“Political parties had been run in very undemocratic manner leading to frequent amendments of the electoral act and judicial interpretations on vexed issue of substitution of candidates by parties.

Till date, illegal substitutions and imposition of candidates is still the norm among political parties.

Ideally, parties are supposed to be made up of like-minded members, but the reality is that it is usually a marriage of convenience by members for the sole aim of acquiring power and not based on any shared ideology.

Individuals who do not share the same idea with the leaders are usually shut out,’’ Pwajok stated.

He stressed that the issue is not about the viability of the candidacy but about the rights of the individual to contest and also the rights of the electorate to vote for any individual of their choice.

“Freedom of choice should be the main ingredient in a democracy. If this alteration is allowed, it may bring some sanity to our political parties, which are currently y bedeviled with ignorance, impunity and imposition of favoured candidates against popular will of members,’’ he said.

Pwajok added that the bill will significantly reduce the number of political parties contesting elections in the country.

“Currently, Nigeria has more than 50 political parties, but there are not more than five parties that have seats in the National Assembly and less than 10 are politically present or viable in the country. Many of them exist to either project the interests of some individuals because the constitution does not allow for independent candidates,’’ he said.

8 Comments

  1. Muse

    December 8, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Oooh, finally, I hope this bill sees the light of day just in time for the 2019 elections. I hope Nigerians would Trump tribal and religious sentiments and stand behind an individual and change the politics of our country, I hope INEC won’t be compromised.

    And I hope Nigeria rise again.

  2. Benson Ossai

    December 8, 2016 at 9:05 am

    If this bill scales through and finally become law that will be find.Independent candidacy has worked well in other climes e.g in the UK and i think it will work well here.Good work Hon. Edward Pwajok.

  3. Benson Ossai

    December 8, 2016 at 9:07 am

    and finally becomes law that will be fine.

  4. Mrs chidukane

    December 8, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Oh wow! This is really lovely. I pray it gets passed into law because it will finally free us from these blood sucking demons in power. bN please keep us posted.

  5. Rubynnia

    December 8, 2016 at 10:50 am

    It would be to my greatest delight and pleasure if the bill sees the light of day.

  6. Binam

    December 8, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Our law makers are working really hard to strengthen our democracy with this bill. We will no longer be held to ransom by maga parties. This is commendable.

  7. Pink

    December 8, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Good news!

  8. beecruising

    December 8, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    That means I can finally pursue my passion (serving the people”)without belonging to any of the ‘blood sucking”political parties.

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