Public hearings on electoral laws enters last day

Written By: Hunja Macharia
1712

Amendments
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The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will Thursday night present its views to the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on electoral laws after an earlier meeting aborted.

The Committee sent IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati away saying standard operating procedures required that he appears accompanied by his Commissioners as well as the CEO.

On the last day of the Public hearings, Chebukati appeared before the Committee with a memorandum saying there was concurrence among the Commissioners as well as the CEO Ezra Chiloba that he should represent the commission.

Chebukati said while he was not opposed to appearing with other Commissioners, some of them were busy elsewhere planning for the fresh Presidential election.

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He said they have had meetings as a Commission and agreed that he appears before the Committee saying he would provide minutes of the same to the Committee.

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Committee members however said IEBC is a collective entity and can’t be represented by an individual, unless he was appearing on his capacity as a Kenyan.

They said since some of the amendments on the electoral laws touch on Chebukati, it was only fair that other members of the Commission were present to ensure concurrence.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja was categorical that the Committee invited IEBC not the Chairman,  and that the memorandum presented by Chebukati would be inadmissible if not signed by other Commissioners.

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Committee Chairman William Cheptumo ruled that it was prudent for other members to be present, directing Chebukati to appear Thursday night accompanied by other Commissioners as well as the CEO.

The Jubilee party lead by Secretary General Raphael Tuju and former Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir is currently appearing before the Committee to present its views.

Tuju says the amendments are not in bad faith arguing that NASA stand that it will not participate in the election if their demands are not met is disobeying the Supreme Court ruling.

He said an individual can not hold the Country at ransom, saying there is no way he can set terms of the fresh Presidential election.

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Tuju was clear that electronic transmission with its shortcomings can not be the only mode of transmission saying they must embrace manual transmission, citing instances in developed Countries like Germany where electronic transmission is not an option.

Jubilee maintains that political parties can not set the rules for IEBC, saying it is unacceptable for NASA to place demands to the Commission.

Chirchir said Jubilee is ready for October 26th contest saying their regular interactions with the Commission indicates that everything is in place for the fresh poll.

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