Nairobi, KENYA: Jubilee Party members of parliament are fasttracking the process of amending election laws in bid to make several changes to the laws, following the nullification of past election ,amid protests from their counterparts in the opposition.
The amendments through the Elections Laws (Amendments) Act 2017, tabled in the House by Majority Leader Aden Duale on Thursday, the Bill seeks to address issues that led to invalidation of the August presidential election vote.
The proposed amendment to the IEBC Act seeks to avert crisis in the event of the resignation or otherwise of the IEBC Chairperson, giving the Vice Chairperson the legal mandate to assume full powers of returning the vote for the presidential election.
The newly introduced clause also clarifies the candidates who are supposed to take part in the repeat elections, where the polls are nullified through a petition, clarifying that only those who successfully petitions an elections are eligible to contest in the repeat polls.
The other proposed new clause in Section six states that in the absence of the chairman and the vice chair, then other members of the Commission will elect one of them to act and exercise the powers and responsibilities of the chairperson until the position is substantively filled.
Currently, the law only allows the Chairperson the mandate for such duties as acting as the national returning officer.
On the other hand ,opposition MPs walked out of the legislature in protest ,after the Jubilee party marshalled 144 against 53 votes in passing a motion.
The mps accused the opponents of using their tyranny of numbers to clandestinely push for retrogressive Electoral Laws.
They questioned the rush by Jubilee to ammend laws before the October 26th .
“They have used their number in the House to reduce the publication period from 14 days to 0ne day,” said T.J Kajwang (Ruaraka).