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Senate rejects devolution of powers to states

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Four key constitution amendment proposals were yesterday rejected by the Senate.

They are: •devolution of powers to states; •deletion of the Land Use Act from the Constitution; •state creation and boundary; and •35 per cent affirmative action for women.

Also rejected was the recommendation to alter Section 25 of the constitution to guarantee a married woman’s right to choose either her indigeneship by birth of by marriage for the purpose of appointment or election.

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Ninety-seven senators were in the chamber.
In all there, Constitution review committee formulated 33 bills, 29 passed while four other failed.

Two-third of the 109 senators were required to pass any of the 33 bills, except the bill on procedure for overriding presidential veto in Constitution Alteration, which requires 4/5 of the 109 senator present and voting.

On devolution of powers to states, the review panel said: “This seeks to alter the Second Schedule, Part I & II to move certain items to the Concurrent Legislative List to give more legislative powers to states. It also delineates the extent to which the federal legislature and state assemblies can legislate on the items that have been moved to the Concurrent Legislative List.”

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Ninety-five senators voted; 56 voted yes, 48 voted nay and one abstained. The proposal failed to meet the two-third required for it to pass.

On removal of the Land Use Act from the constitution, 90 senators voted; 46 voted yes, 44 voted against the bill, rendering the proposal unacceptable.

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