The Senate has announced plans to amend the 2022 Electoral Act.
The new amendment will make electronic transmission of results mandatory, allow uploading of polling unit-level results and result sheets used at different levels of result collation and allow for diaspora voting, at least for presidential elections.
This was contained in a communiqué issued by the upper legislative chamber at the end of its retreat in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa-Ibom State.
The Senate noted that it was necessary for the Independent National Electoral Commission to be unbundled to improve its efficiency and effectiveness in the preparation and conduct of elections.
The communiqué stated, “Relating to the use of technology in elections, remove the ambiguity evident in Section 64 of the EA22.
“Also, make electronic transmission of results mandatory from the next general elections in 2027, including the uploading of polling unit-level results and result sheets used at different levels of result collation.
“Introduce diaspora voting, at least for presidential elections, to enable citizens to vote, especially those on essential service abroad, such as military, paramilitary, and other security personnel abroad, Embassy staff, and other citizens.
“Relating to political parties; stipulate sanctions for failure to submit the register of party members not later than 30 days before the date of party primaries, congresses, or conventions in relation to Section 77(3) EA22, which the political parties have observed in the breach in the 2023 elections without penalty.”
The 10th Senate further noted that it was time to develop and enact a comprehensive national security strategy that outlines the nation’s security objectives, threats, and policy priorities.
The Red Chamber added that such a strategy could serve as a guiding framework for legislative action in the security sector.