Religious leaders urge President Kenyatta to assent to controversial electoral laws


Nairobi, KENYA: A section of religious leaders in the country have called on president Uhuru Kenyatta to assent into law, controversial amendment electoral laws 2016 after it was passed by the National Assembly.

In a media briefing in Nairobi on Monday, Pentecostal Movement in Kenya under the auspices of Inter-Faith Council of Kenya chair Archbishop Gerry Kibarabara, said that parliament followed the standing orders and the constitution in passing the amendment of the electoral laws .

“It was therefore prudent for the president to have considered assenting to the bill immediately and interfaith council of Kenya calls for the president to sign into law the amendment without further delay to avert more acrimony .”Kibarabara said.

Passage of the amendment electoral laws in parliament by MPs allied to Jubilee party end of December last year, aroused sharp criticism from the opposition who argued that reverting to manual system in the event electronic system fails, will be a leeway to rig the 2017 general elections.

Such move prompted the opposition to call for mass action as from 4th January 2017 but rescinded their decision after senate’s legal affairs committee was directed by to oversee the matter.

Kibarabara said that there is need to implement electoral laws as passed to avert crisis in case the electronic system fails during elections.

“This organisation therefore supports the use of manual register as a back up to be used in case of technological failure by the BVR to avoid delayed electoral process.”He said.

The council opposed senate’s speaker Ekwe Ethuro’s move by directing legal affairs committee to oversee and iron out controversial clauses in the amendments by meeting with stakeholders, arguing that this might cause animosity within the two houses.