INEC’s Good Thinking!

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

Last week, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) came up with some proposals that could help turn around the Electoral process for the better. To this, INEC is proposing such reforms that could enhance the nation’s electoral process in its entirety.

With this proposal, the commission is seeking an amendment to sections 68, 109 and 117 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as parts of efforts to curb the frequency of by-elections.
If passed into law, the candidate of the party will replace any lawmaker either from the National Assembly or state legislature that resigns his legislative seat on account of ill health or to seek higher elective post with the next highest votes in the election.

INEC’S new thinking also seeks a legal framework that will enable the political party that sponsored a late candidate to replace him through its internal party mechanism rather than be compelled to hold fresh primaries to pick a replacement as the extant practice.

In addition, the commission is pushing for an amendment to section 285 of the constitution to make it possible for all pre-election disputes to be concluded before the conduct of the general election.

Whichever angle this is viewed from, these ideas are both sound and timely and could sufficiently address some of the challenges that currently beset the nation’s electoral system if bought into. It appears Professor Mahmood Yakubu’s second coming might yield positively.