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Nigeria: President Buhari opposes a change in the electoral law

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JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP or licensors


Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to approve an amendment to the electoral law, which includes the organization of primaries to designate candidates for the presidential election scheduled in fourteen months.

In a letter to Senate President Ahmed Lawan, read out in Parliament on Tuesday, Buhari said "the proposed amendment as it stands is a violation of ... democracy, which is characterized by freedom of choice.

According to President Buhari, the adoption of direct, open primaries would significantly increase the cost and insecurity of monitoring elections, as well as marginalize small political parties.

He said it would put additional pressure on the economy and security agencies of Africa's most populous country, which is already plagued by high inflation and insecurity.

"Such a large turnout without effective security coordination will also lead to intimidation and disruption, raising credibility concerns about the outcome of these elections," he added in the Dec. 13 letter.

The amendment also calls for allowing electronic voting to facilitate the collection and transmission of results, thereby increasing the transparency of the elections.

But in December 2018, Buhari had already refused to approve an amendment to the electoral law that sought to allow electronic voting in the upcoming presidential election, held two months later.

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