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Nigeria gets new electoral law but will it make crooked politicians play by the rules?

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday signed the reworked Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 after many years of back and forth.


The new law will empower the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deploy technological solutions for elections in the country.


The Electoral Act 2022 which replaces the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) constitutes the principal law to govern the conduct of future elections, including the 2023 poll.


Meanwhile, there are concerns that the new law will bring little succour to the electoral process as Nigerian politicians are notorious for manipulating the system, including vote buying, thuggery and ballot box snatching.


If there are no attitudinal changes, the country may continue to relieve the experience of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari who literarily slept in the courts to challenge his election loss in 2011, as presidential candidate of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).


Many political office holders have lost elections during announcement of election results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) but later got justice from courts.


President Buhari had signed the new law with some reservations.


He had noted that Section 84(12) of the bill states that “No political appointee at any level shall be voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election”.


He added, “Section 84 (12) constitutes a disenfranchisement of serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at Conventions or Congresses of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election in cases where it holds earlier than 30 days to the National Election.”


Without guarantees to attitudinal change, its doubtful that the much anticipated credible elections will materialize.

Politics

Exiled Ivory Coast politician, Charles Blé Goudé, returns home to cheering crowd. Old wounds opened?

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Exiled Ivorian politician, Charles Blé Goudé who was the right-hand man of former Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, is back home.

The Street General as he is fondly called is said to be allegedly involved in the violence that followed the 2011 presidential elections, returned home on Saturday after more than eight years abroad.

Thousands of supporters turned up to receive him at the airport after his arrival on a flight from Ghana’s capital, Accra, that was preceded by a heavy police presence.

Charles Blé Goudé while addressing the crowd said “in reality when I was told to come, it was frank, it was sincere. That is why I thank you here in Yopougon, the Ivorian authorities for having facilitated (my return, ed.) among you. If I see you today it is thanks to them.”

He thanked the Ivorian authorities for facilitating his return and said his “duty” was to “support the peace process”.

“I have arrived, I will gather all the information. In this same place, we will hold a political rally where I will discuss all the issues. And as the press is here, I ask them to come in a few weeks to a big press conference where we will discuss all the issues, I mean all the issues”, promised Blé Goudé.

The politician was arrested in Ghana in 2013 following the post-electoral crisis that engulfed the west African country in 2010. But the homecoming seems to be approved by the incumbent president, Alassane Ouattara, who in July pardoned his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé’s principal in the push for national reconciliation.

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Congo DR electoral body, CENI, announces date of presidential election

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The electoral authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Commission Electorale Nationale Independente (CENI) have announced dates for the next presidential election.

CENI on Saturday said the election will take place on December 20th next year.

The commission outlined several challenges, including the logistics of transporting ballot materials thousands of miles, health concerns about Ebola and COVID-19, and unrest that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

The incumbent president, Felix Tshisekedi, who already expressed his intention to run again. He might be running against Martin Fayulu, who continues to claim that he won the 2018 election and was denied victory.

Terrorist activities, largely by a rebel group, M23 have drawn reactions from stakeholders in the East Africa region and global observers. The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

According to the electoral authorities, insecurity remains the main challenge for the next elections.

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