Barely two weeks to the end of the conference, Delegates at the confab have voted unanimously that the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) be scrapped, with its functions transferred to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to check the excesses of state governors.
They adopted the recommendation of the committee on politics and electoral matters that SIEC should be scrapped, during voting on the recommendations and amendments on the reports at the plenary on Tuesday.
The conference had a lot of conflict on agreeable and non-agreeable stances.
Amongst the approved stances include recommendation for unbundling of INEC and creation of a new commission charged with the responsibility of dealing with electoral offences, proposal for a review of the Electoral Act to further strengthen INEC’s capacity to effectively monitor party conduction of election, electronic voting system should be introduced after the 2015 general election, government houses, cars and other facilities and resources should not be used for partisan interest of any political party, person holding position of a youth leader of a political party should not be more than 35 years.
Amongst the stances that were rejected are the move that the swearing-in day of electoral officers should be October 1, the tenure of the chairman of INEC should be a single term of six years, to insulate the office from second term politics, all financial transactions of political parties should be done through banks, while they voted against the move that incumbent must resign 90 days if contesting for any election, that vice president, deputy governor and vice chairman must be women, that compensation should be paid to citizens which constitutional tenure was abridged due to wrong declaration of election results.
The delegates adopted a recommendation for the establishment of a Political Parties Regulation and Electoral Offences Commission to be vested with it’s responsibilities being to investigate all electoral frauds and related offences; identify, trace and prosecute political thuggery and other electoral offences, as well as monitor the organisation and operations of political parties, including their finances.
Delegates also set the minimum academic qualification for candidates seeking elective positions. For the presidential, governorship and National Assembly candidates, first degree or its equivalent was set as the mandatory qualification.
Candidates seeking to contest for state houses of assembly and local government chairmanship elections are also expected to possess a first degree certificate or its equivalent, while Secondary School Leaving Certificate or its equivalent was set as the minimum academic qualification for candidates seeking election as local government councillors.
Conference also resolved that appeals from judgments in pre-election matters to the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court should be filed within 21 days from the date the judgment of the lower court was delivered.