Blow to opposition as MPs reinstate MANUAL ELECTION RESULTS TRANSMISSION

The opposition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) suffered a major blow after Members of Parliament allied to the Jubilee Party passed the contested amendments to the election laws.

The CORD MPs walked out of the National Assembly Chambers in protest, thereby boycotting the session.

The Jubilee MPs, through their numerical strength, took advantage of the situation and passed the amendments that will see the use of manual transmission of election results in cases where the electronic system fails.

The opposition MPs said the re-introduction of the manual transmission of election results was prone to manipulation and abuse and can easily be tampered with to alter the results.

The opposition legislators took to the streets and marched to Milimani Law Courts where they had already lodged a complaint on the legality of the special sitting that was convened by Speaker Justin Muturi.

The opposition has accused the ruling faction of devising a mechanism that will enable it to easily rig the August 8, 2017 elections.

However, the Jubilee Party, through Deputy President William Ruto, said that the proposed changes to the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2016 was a request by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) which is mandated to implement the law.

“The proposal in the National Assembly is that of IEBC, not Jubilee’s,” said Mr Ruto.

While appearing on Citizen TV on Wednesday evening, said that the IEBC reviewed the negotiated law and requested for amendments to allow alternative election results transmission in cases where the electronic format fails.

DP Ruto said that despite the law in force having been negotiated between the Jubilee and CORD coalitions, it is not solidly perfect and can be subjected to a review.

“We are people who believe in the rule of law. The law in Parliament was negotiated between IEBC and CORD but that does not mean that it cannot be reviewed,” said Ruto.

“IEBC, which is mandated to implement the law, reviewed it and realized some gaps and asked for amendments. There is nothing wrong with changing the law.”

On Monday, December 19, CORD leader, Raila Odinga, warned the Jubilee administration against rigging of the elections saying that it would plunge the country into chaos.

On Wednesday, he warned that the 2017 elections would not take place if the election laws were amended.

The first attempt to amend the election laws was thwarted by the opposition legislators who disrupted the special sitting of the National Assembly on Tuesday, December 20 forcing the Speaker to convene another sitting today (Thursday, December 22).

Upon the approval of the review of the election laws by the Jubilee faction, the CORD coalition moved to court seeking to have the amendments declared null and void.

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Story By Koome Kimonye
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