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Reps Reject Bill Requiring Winner Of Presidential Election To Secure Over 50% Votes

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The House of Representatives has rejected a bill that sought to make it compulsory for presidential and governorship candidates to secure more than 50 percent of the total votes cast, to be declared winners.

Naija News reports that the bill, which was Sponsored by Awaji–Inombek Abiante (PDP- Rivers), is seeking to change the current simple majority system of electing the president and governors, which is in line with Section 134 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.

The bill sought to make it mandatory for a presidential candidate to be declared winner only if he or she scores more than half of the total votes cast, where there are more than two candidates in the contest.

But Abiante’s bill proposed that in a presidential race with more than two candidates, a candidate must secure a majority of the total votes, which constitutes over 50 per cent.

The Speaker of the House, Tajudeen Abbas, had called for the bill to be seconded after its presentation by Abiante.

However, as soon as the bill was seconded and put to a voice vote, it was rejected with louder “nays” than “ayes”. The bill had not even been debated when lawmakers roundly rejected it.

The bill’s rejection process was highly unusual, as bills are typically rejected after the general principle has been debated.

If this system had been used in conducting the 2023 election, President Bola Tinubu would not have been declared the winner of the election in the first ballot, as he did not secure the majority of the total votes cast.



Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.