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Nigerians Protest Elections Reform Delay

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Nigerians Protest Elections Reform Delay

Nigerians protest election reform delays across the country.
Nigerians are protesting election reform delays across the country after President Muhammadu Buhari delays signing the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. Photo: DemocracyMoves

Nigerian civil society groups will protest President Muhammadu Buhari’s delay in signing the Electoral Act Amendment Bill today.

The bill has the potential to increase the transparency and legitimacy of elections. The consortium of civil society groups stated that Buhari must give assent to the bill by today if the dates for 2023 general elections are to proceed on schedule.

In the last five years Buhari has declined to sign previous amendments to the Electoral Act five times, raising concerns that he may again decline to assent. Buhari’s failure to pass the bill will likely result in legal insecurities that pose a threat to the stability of the 2023 general elections for the offices of the President and Vice President as well as elections for Senate and the House of Representatives.

Given Buhari’s previous reticence to amend the election process, it is likely he will decline to sign the bill today. In the short term, this will result in Parliament making an attempt to override his decision. In the long term, the 2023 general elections will be pushed back, decreasing trust in electoral procedures and increasing political uncertainty in West Africa.

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Photo: VCG

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