18 October 2017

Kenya: Nasa MPs Urge Wafula Chebukati to Resign

Photo: Francis Nderitu/The Nation
IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati, right, and Vice Chairperson Consolata Maina at the commission's office at Anniversary Towers in Nairobi on June 21, 2017.

A section of opposition MPs have called on the chairman of the electoral commission Wafula Chebukati to resign citing lack of independence and political interference from Jubilee Party.

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, his Gem counterpart Elisha Odhiambo and Dr Chris Wamalwa of Kiminini said the reasons cited by commissioner Dr Roselyn Akombe in her resignation statement is an indication that the commission is just an appendix of Jubilee.

FAIR POLL

"We call upon the IEBC chairman to also immediately resign and save this country from plunging into political catastrophe ahead of the October 26 repeat poll," said Wandayi during a press conference at Parliament buildings on Wednesday.

The Ugunja legislator said the resignation of commissioner Akombe is a confirmation of the opposition fears that the commission has been taking orders from above and therefore cannot be trusted to conduct a free and fair poll.

"We have been complaining that some of the IEBC commissioners have been doing political bidding for Jubilee and every decision they make, they do it on behalf of jubilee and not Kenyans who are paying them," Wandayi aid.

"The commission led by the chairman should just come out and tell Kenyans that the division within them is deeply rooted hence cannot conduct any credible poll," Wandayi added.

The Ugunja MP called on IEBC to go back to Supreme Court and seek for further direction as far as holding the repeat poll is concerned.

"The best thing IEBC can do now is to seek for an advisory opinion from the Supreme Court as it is clear that they cannot conduct a credible poll within 60 days as directed by the court," Wandayi said.

BUNGLED POLL

Mr Odhiambo on his part called on Mr Chebukati not to be part of a blood shed going on in some parts of the country due to bungled poll.

"I am sure Mr Chebukati does not want to go down in history as one of the IEBC chairpersons who presided over an election where half of the country did not participate and scores of others killed," Mr Odhiambo said.

"There is indeed a crisis at IEBC and the remaining commissioners should not remain in office and continue to use public funds in organising election that will still be nullified," added the Gem MP.

Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa said the country cannot go to an election under the current environment which he described as tensed.

Mr Wamalwa said there is need for an urgent political dialogue which should not be misconstrued by the government as a means of seeking for a shared government by the opposition.

"The issues raised by Dr Akombe in her resignation statement are very weighty and critical, it is indeed impossible to have a credible repeat poll under the current political environment," Dr Wamalwa said.

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