11 October 2017

Kenya: Join Us in Debating Electoral Laws, Jubilee Senators Urge Rivals

Nairobi — The Majority Coalition leadership in the Senate has criticised the Minority Coalition for abdicating its oversight role in the House by opting not to participate in the electoral laws debate which started Wednesday afternoon in the House.

While moving the Motion on the Floor of the House, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen took issue with their Opposition for substituting their role with street protests.

"The idea that these laws were made for the 26 October presidential elections is a total lie. Our colleagues from the Opposition should stop demonstrating and come to this House to contribute their views on these laws instead of protesting," he said.

Murkomen said the House will go on to debate on the Bills even if the Opposition stays away, sentiments which were echoed by his deputy, Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo.

"Opposition members should come to the House and engage with us on the Bill, demonstrations do not help at all," said Dullo.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala who was the only Opposition lawmaker in the House while rising on a point of order laid blame on the Majority Coalition for the current situation and urged his colleagues to abandon the debate on the controversial laws.

"We cannot have a Parliament without having a country. We cannot pretend to be sitting here passing legislation that will bring back the dark old days in this country yet we pretend all is well. The debate on these laws is null and void and there is nothing you are doing here," said Malala.

The National Assembly on Wednesday passed the amendments sponsored which also provide that failure to transmit the results electronically shall not be used to invalidate the poll and instead the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission should to develop a complementary system as back-up.

"Where there is a discrepancy between the electronically transmitted and the physically delivered results, the Commission shall verify the results and the result which is an accurate record of the results tallied, verified and declared at the respective polling station shall prevail," William Cheptumo explained to the National Assembly.

MPs also agreed with recommendations by the Joint Select Committee to uphold a clause that the IEBC Chairperson must be qualified to be a Supreme Court judge under the Constitution.

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