Senate Rejects Bills On Mayoral Status In FCT, Diaspora Voting

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    The Senate on Tuesday, rejected a Bill seeking Mayoral status in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

    The rejection came during voting on the report of the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bills, 2022.

    The Bill sought to alter the Constitution to create a democratic governance structure for the FCT through the office of Mayor of the FCT, Abuja, who is to be democratically elected.

    During the voting, 62 senators voted for the Bill while 25 voted against it.

    The senators also rejected Bill number 61 which is on the Appointment of Minister from the FCT.

    “This Bill seeks to give recognition to the constitutional status of the FCT by ensuring that a person who is a registered voter and resident in the FCT is appointed as a minister representing the FCT in the Federal Executive Council”.

    Sixty seven senators voted for the Bill while seven voted against the Bill.

    The upper chamber also rejectec the Bill on Diaspora Voting which sought to amend the Constitution to allow Nigerians living outside the country to participate in the electoral process and vote.

    “Nigerian citizens in diaspora have shown tremendous interest in participating in the electoral process; they make considerable contribution to the economy through huge financial remittances to the country; and Diaspora voting is consistent with global best practices.”

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    During the voting, 29 lawmakers voted for the Bill while 62 voted against the Bill.

    The upper chamber, however, approved the Bill on Independent Candidacy with 89 senators accepting the Bill while five senators rejected the Bill.

    The Bill seeks to alter the Constitution to allow an independent candidate contest for an elective position.

    “This is aimed at expanding the space for democratic participation by providing a platform outside political parties for persons to participate and contest elections.”(NAN)

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