Abuja: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to give his assent to the country’s electoral amendment bill for the third consecutive time, asserting that introducing a new legislation before the general elections could cause confusion and uncertainty.
Buhari was quoted by Anadolu News Agency as saying, “I am declining assent to the bill principally because I am concerned that passing a new electoral bill this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general election which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process. Any real or apparent change to the rules this close to the election may provide an opportunity for disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process.”
With the general elections just two months away, the Nigerian President underlined that he would sign the bill to overhaul the country’s electoral laws if the lawmakers add a clause mentioning that it would be applicable after the polls.
Buhari had dismissed the bill twice — in March and in September — saying that it would affect the powers of the country’s electoral body to hold elections and some clauses were in conflict with the Nigerian constitution.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, will go to polls to elect a new president and parliament on February 16 next year.