What is a ‘consensus candidate’?
A consensus candidate at the political party level is one whose position was decided by the whole party.
The Electoral Act 2022 provides methods for political parties to decide which of its members running for office will emerge as the frontrunner for a position. For a politician to be selected as the party’s consensus candidate, the other candidates must tender their withdrawal from contesting and support said politician.
Section 84(9)(a) of the act 2022 says:
A political party that adopts a consensus candidate shall secure the written consent of all cleared aspirants for the position, indicating their voluntary withdrawal from the race and their endorsement of the consensus candidate.
If the written consent can not be obtained from all other interested candidates, the political party will abandon the consensus arrangement and proceed with either direct or indirect primary election.
S. 84(9)(b) says:
Where a political party is unable to secure the written consent of all cleared aspirants for the purpose of a consensus candidate, it shall revert to the choice of direct or indirect primaries for the nomination of candidates for the aforesaid elective positions.
In Section 84(9)(c), the act says:
that even when aspirants tendered written documents to pave the way for the emergence of consensus candidates, a special convention or nomination congress will be held to ratify the choice of consensus candidates at the national, state, senatorial, federal and state constituencies, as the case may be.
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