The National Assembly and Senate’s adhoc committees on election laws began collecting public views on the proposed changes in the elections laws Tuesday amid censure from the opposition.
Members of the public and civil societies who appeared before the joint committee remained divided on the timing of the proposed elections amendment bill.
The joint parliamentary committee is expected to conduct public hearings for three days before reporting back to the house in a week’s time.
The National Council of NGOs through Chairperson Steven Cheboi, supported the intention to change the elections laws but at the same time urged the MPs to ensure the legislation does not destabilize the country. Sentiments echoed by Ole Metiang, a resident from Kajiado County.
While some civil society groups like the center for African elections’ observers supported the re-introduction of manual transmission of results to run concurrently with electronic transmission of results, others questioned the rationale of changing the law just days to the repeat poll.
Some of the changes being pushed by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s jubilee party include dropping the requirement that the chairperson of IEBC be a person who is qualified to hold the office of judge of the Supreme Court under the Constitution.
Jubilee also seeks to reduce the quorum of the commission from five to half of the existing members but not less than three.
The proposed bill further provides for concurrent electronic and manual transmission of results, and instances of discrepancy, the manual transmission prevails.