President set to assent to election laws bill

Written By: Edward Kabasa
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election

The ball is now in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s court after Jubilee used its numerical advantage to adopt amendments to the election laws.

The bill which seeks to introduce a raft of changes in the electoral process, among them is making manual transmission of results mandatory saw the opposition NASA keep off the debate.

The opposition however is not relenting vowing that it will challenge the legality of the amendments in court.

When the Supreme Court invalidated the August 8th Presidential poll the Jubilee Party set out to make changes to the electoral laws. These changes the Party argued would seal gaps that were exploited by the opposition NASA to have the presidential results nullified.

President Kenyatta has previously indicated his willingness to have the amendments come into law.

The debate on the amendments saw the Opposition stay away from debate even as Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo sought to strike out some amendments to the bill.

Also Read  US, Germany oppose amendments to electoral laws

In the amendments, IEBC commissioners will have the privilege to elect amongst themselves a member to announce presidential elections in case the chairperson or the vice chair are absent.

The proposed law also seeks to make manual transmission of results mandatory, and in case, there is a discrepancy between the electronically transmitted results, the manually transmitted results shall prevail.

The bill further seeks to put in law that incase a candidate withdraws from a repeat election, the remaining candidate shall be declared elected forthwith as the president elect.

Any returning officer who refuses to sign all electoral documents will be liable to five years in jail.

The passage of the amendments come 14 days to the poll, handing President Kenyatta an ample time to assent to the bill which may take effect immediately.

NASA has expressed its opposition to the amendments, threatening legal action should the President append his signature to the bill.

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