Confab: 50-Member Consensus Group Agree On Mode Of Voting

Confab-DelegatesThe 50-member consensus group selected by the National Conference chairman, Idris Kutigi, to resolve the impasse on the number of delegates required to approve a decision at the confab, has reached a resolution.

The Assistant Secretary, Media and Communications at the CONFAB, Akpandem James said on Friday in Abuja that an agreement had been reached. He said the agreement would be tabled before the delegates on Monday for adoption.

Delegates disrupted proceedings on March 24 and 25 when they failed to reach a consensus on whether to adopt a two-third majority or three-quarter majority on any issue.

Some delegates, largely northern delegates, pushed for three-quarter saying it was more representative of the majority; while others, largely southern delegates pushed for two thirds arguing that this was the obtainable trend in most parts of the world.

Order VI Rule 3 of the procedure rule of the conference provides that any decision in the conference shall be decided by at least a three-quarter majority.

It reads: “any questions proposed for decision in the conference shall be determined by consensus and when this is not achievable, it should be determined by a three-quarter majority of the delegates present and voting.”

In a bid to resolve the stalemate, the delegates on March 25 mandated the Chairman, Idris Kutigi, to convene a meeting of some selected delegates from the six geopolitical zones to look into the issue.

On resumption of plenary on March 26, the leadership announced that the 50-member group had been selected to resolve the three-quarter and two-third dichotomy.

Immediately after the first debate on March 26, plenary was adjourned to reconvene in the afternoon to enable the 50 selected delegates have a close-door meeting with the principal officers.

“The disagreement will not affect resumption of plenary on Monday because it has been resolved”, Mr. James thinks.

“The 50-man consensus group met with the principal officers on Wednesday and Thursday and a consensus has been reached”, he said.

Yet he is quick to add that the resolution is still a proposal which the delegates can refuse.

“It is still a proposal. The consensus delegates have gone back to delegates from their various geo-political zones to present to them the consensus that was reached.

“The consensus will be presented to the house on March 31 for the delegates to adopt.

“Until it is adopted by the larger house, an agreement has not been reached”, Mr. James said.


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