Table motion on electoral reforms, clerics urge MPs



By Asha Khamis/Rufus Hunja

Religious leaders have called for a quick tabling of a motion in Parliament that would determine how electoral reforms will take shape ahead of next year’s elections.

Addressing the press in Nairobi, Tuesday, the clerics drawn from various Christian and Muslim organizations said such a motion is required urgently because it would determine how free, fair and credible the 2017 General Election will be.

National Council of Churches of Kenya General Secretary Canon Peter Karanja said Parliament needs to quickly pass laws that would address electoral problems in the country.

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The statement by the clergy comes amid the clamor by the Opposition to remove IEBC commissioners.

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For the past one month, the Jubilee and Cord coalitions have been haggling over the issue of how electoral reforms should be addressed.

The Muslim and Christian cleric met at Jumuia Place in Nairobi to reflect on the country’s preparedness ahead of the 2017 general elections.

“It is important that both sides have agreed on a number of issues. What is left now is the issue of logistics and semantics.

“There is no reason that motion should not be tabled even today,” said Canon Peter Karanja said.

The religious leaders included representatives from the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops the NCCK, the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, the National Muslim Leaders Forum and the Organisation of African Instituted Churches and the Seventh-day Adventists.

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Elsewhere, National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale is opposed to parliament taking part in the selection of new IEBC officials.

Daule argues that a proposal that the majority and minority sides produce two members each to the selection panel will compromise the credibility of the electoral body.

Duale who appeared before joint sitting of legal and constitution implementation oversight committee, also informed members that the yet to be formed joint committee on IEBC will not interfere with the operations of the committees.

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Mps were however uncomfortable with the formation of a joint select committee to handle IEBC matters arguing the move would undermine the authority of the legal affairs committees.

Indeed members of the legal affairs committee want any resolution reached elsewhere regarding the IEBC to be subjected to it for scrutiny.

The MPs also raised concerns over what they termed as attempts by forces outside parliament to intimidate the institution.

Both the majority and minority sides are set to table their 14member list for adoption so that the select committee can commence operations.




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