Tuesday, May 11, 2021

NASS Leadership: Secret balloting, only constitutional option available – Gaya  


tiamin rice

Senator Kabiru Gaya, APC-Kano, says that going by the tedious nature of amending the provisions of the Senate’s 2015 Standing Rule, which stipulate secret balloting, the process is most likely to be used in electing presiding officers for the 9th Senate.

Mr Gaya, who made this known while briefing National Assembly correspondents on Thursday in Abuja, said with barely one month to the end of the 8th Senate it was unlikely that any change to the existing rule could be effected and concluded within its lifespan.

According to him, the process of changing the rule is similar to the process of passing a bill, which he said must be passed in both chambers, and a conference report of both chambers adopted for the rule to stand changed.

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He further noted that the rule must be changed in strict compliance with parliamentary procedures.

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Mr Gaya, former Kano State governor, was reacting to recent calls for the senate to adopt open ballot system in electing presiding officers for the 9th Senate.

He disclosed that the 2011 rule could not be used since there was an amended version in 2015.

He stressed that the 2015 standing rule was the valid document for use at the election since it was the one currently in use.

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“Such motion must be presented before the end of the life span of this Senate, processed and approved. Anything outside that is outside the due process.

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“Between 2011 Rule and 2015 Rule, which one comes last? the second of course. So, it supersedes the first one.

“We cannot change it now unless a member of the Senate moves for that change. If he moves for the change and somebody seconds it, the motion will be debated and the same thing also in the House of Representatives.

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“It will be debated. If there is discrepancy between the Senate and the House, we will set up a Conference Committee. They will bring it to us to find a date to sit down and pass it. Can you do that in one month?,” he asked.

On his desire to become the Deputy President of the Senate, Gaya said he was qualified to contest for the position.


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