By Festus Ahon
ASABA—THE bill for a law to establish the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission, DSIEC, 2017, has passed second reading on the floor of the state House of Assembly.
The second reading followed the conclusion of debate on the merits of the bill at plenary presided over by the Speaker, Sheriff Oborevwori.
Oborevwori referred the bill to the joint House Committees on Local Government and Rules, Business, Legal and Judiciary and directed it to report back to the House within two days.
Also at plenary, the speaker reassigned 21 bills, which had been under scrutiny by adhoc committees to the relevant standing committees of the House announced a week ago.
Majority Leader, Tim Owhefere, who moved the motion for the second reading of the bill, which was seconded by Oboro Preyor, also led debate on merits.
Owhefere said the business of lawmaking was dynamic hence the need to repeal the DSIEC law and enact a new one, adding that the development was to correct defects noticed in the repealed law made by the House in 2012 to be in tandem with the modern day realities in electoral process.
On his part, the member representing Ughelli North Constituency I in the House, Samuel Mariere, said the proposed amendments would give the commission the powers to give 30 days notice for the conduct of local government elections unlike in the repealed law, which stipulated 60 to 90 days for conduct of local government elections.
In his contribution, the member representing Ika North East, Emeka Elekeokwuri, said with the amendment, every candidate contesting for a position in the local government council must be sponsored by a political party, pointing out that the proposed law also specified 21 years of age as the minimum requirement to contest as councillor.