CORD MPs block speaker Muturi from accessing house chambers

CORD MPs block speaker Muturi from accessing house chambers

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11th National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi. PHOTO:FILE.

Nairobi,KENYA: There was drama in Parliament on Tuesday as speaker Mr.Justin Muturi was blocked from accessing debating chambers by CORD Mps over controversial electoral reforms.

Cord Mps camped outside the speaker’s office to block him from proceeding to the chambers for today’s meeting following amendments proposed by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee led Mr. Samuel Chekponga.

They threatened to grab the mace from sergeant at arms.

Embakasi south Mp, Mr. Ishrad Sumra threatened to retaliate physically if the ruling jubilee party went ahead with plans to amend the electoral laws.

“We are not afraid to fight. If they want war, let them bring it on. We cannot allow this meeting to happen”, he said.

Speaking outside parliament chambers, Sumra said the sitting was illegal since their House leadership had not been consulted.

According to him the only option for the government to end the standoff was for the speaker to convene a kamukunji- an informal sitting- to iron out the issue.

“ What jubilee is doing borders on illegality. We will not accept that’, declared Sumra.

The House was expected to debate the laws and regulations that will guide the 2017 General Election.

The contentious issue of the debate is the proposal by the Chepkong’a committee to amend the Elections Act and provide for a manual backup system for the voting, transmission and tallying of election results.

The new subsection 14b(1) reads: “Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 39 and 44, the (electoral) commission shall put in place a complementary mechanism for identification and transmission of election results that is simple, accurate, verifiable, secure, accountable and transparent to ensure that the Commission complies with Article 38 (2) and (3) of the Constitution.”

The proposed amendment goes ahead to provide that if technology fails, the manual system shall be used to identify voters and transmit results. In subsection 14b(2), it proposes: “The commission shall use the complementary mechanism referred to in sub-section (1) for identification and transmission of election results only where the technology initially deployed fails.”

However, Cord wants the election laws to remain its current form and has accused president Kenyatta of  harbouring a sinister motive.