If the Federal Government accepts the recommendation of the Electoral Reform Committee, electronic voting machine might be used in the conduct of future elections in the country.
The Electoral Act 2006 prohibits the use of the EVM for the conduct of elections in the country.
But the 22-man committee, in its report, submitted to President Umaru Yar?Adua on December 11, 2008, said the EVM should be used in the conduct of future elections.
?The use of electronic voting machine is recommended for future elections but this should be introduced gradually after a period of limited testing and experimentation,? the committee said in its 297-page report.
The committee, headed by a former Chief Justice of the Federation, Muhammadu Uwais, also recommended that the government should continue to give grants to political parties but that disbursement should be made to the parties based on their performance in the elections.
The panel said: ?Government should continue to fund political parties either directly or through the Independent National Electoral Commission. The political parties should be encouraged to raise funds of their own through sale of forms to candidates, fund-raising exercises, individual or corporate donations as well as undertaking of commercial activities.
?The funding of political parties should be based on their performance in the general elections. After the 2011 elections, only parties that score a minimum of 2.5 per cent of the votes should be eligible to receive grants from public funds.?
The committee also placed a ceiling on how much individuals could donate to candidates standing for elections.
The maximum amount that individuals could donate to presidential candidates, according to the committee, is N20 million, while governorship candidates could receive a maximum of N15milion.
Individuals could give as much as N10 million to those seekig senatorial seats while those running for seats in the House of Representatives could receive N5million.
Candidates contesting seats in the State Houses of Assembly could get as much as N2.5million from individuals while those running for chairmanship and councillorship positions could receive between N500,000 and N3million.
For purposes of transparency and accountability, the panel recommended that the parties must always publicly disclose to INEC all sources of their funding, including donations.
The panel also wants a law compelling parties to ?develop internal procedures for candidate nomination that would be open, transparent, inclusive, and democratic and require that those seeking nomination did not use intimidation, violence, bribery or similar unacceptable methods to gain nomination or office.?
Also in its report, the committee admonished Yar?Adua not to allow the agencies under him that were involved in elections to be used to undermine free and fair elections.
?The provision of the Electoral Act 2006 which prohibited the abuse of the powers of incumbency, including the misuse of official powers and resources should be strengthened and enforced,? the panel added.