What next for CORD in the Okoa Kenya referendum push?


CORD

CORD’s momentum in the push for Okoa Kenya referendum has petered out, understandably so, after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) reported a miss on the required target of 1 million signatures collected in support of the push.

In the announcement that was met with widespread protests from CORD’s camp, the commission stated that out of the 1.6 million signatures submitted by CORD last year, only 891,598 were genuine, dealing a blow to the referendum push.

Though there has been no official communication from CORD on the way forward regarding the Okoa Kenya referendum push, in-depth analysis points to a defined cause of action for the coalition if they are keen on invigorating Okoa Kenya.

According to former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) chair Eric Mutua, CORD may choose to revive the push by re-launching fresh collection of signatures in a bid to make a second attempt at the goal.

Though no official figures have been released on the amount of money that went into the signature collection drive, the intensity of the process is a clear indication that the coalition might need to make strategic steps if they are to take another shot at the drive.

With the resources that a coalition of CORD’s caliber commands, it might not be surprising that CORD may be considering this option.

If, and only if, CORD is sure they met the required threshold and consider IEBC’s report as arbitrary, they may decide to select a team to scrutinize the process and go through the signatures afresh to confirm the cogency of the commission’s decision.

The coalition may also resort to seeking the intervention of the court in their pursuits for a top-up to the current verified signatures to reach the required numbers, since, according to reports, IEBC has already ruled this out as a possibility.

CORD vs IEBC

Meanwhile, CORD leaders have expressed their displeasure with IEBC, accusing them of working in cohorts with the Jubilee government to frustrate the referendum push.

The coalition has also resumed their call for the disbandment of IEBC, threatening to boycott the 2017 elections if no considerable reforms are effected in the commission.

Amidst the fog of confusion that has clouded the reason for the rejection of Okoa Kenya signatures, IEBC has come out to clarify that no signature was rejected on the basis of form or structure but (in) availability of the owner’s name in the voter registration or the absence of ID and passport numbers in the records submitted.

“The Commission did not reject a single signature because of its structure or formation. The records that were rejected were those that were not found in the voters register. Some records had signatures but without ID or passport numbers while others had just names and no other entries,” read the statement in part.

CORD leader Raila Odinga, through his spokesman Dennis Onyango, however disputed IEBC’s statement accusing the commission of insincerity.

“The idea that IEBC verified signatures and rejected some of the submissions from Okoa Kenya based on “faulty” or non-existent signatures originated from IEBC itself.  It is the reason the IEBC last week specifically drew the attention of the media to those parts of the books that had unique signatures, including drawings,” claimed Onyango.

Whether CORD will take up any of the above options or whether they will abandon the Okoa Kenya referendum push in favour of an all-out dive into 2017 election preparedness sits with the coalition’s top brass, with a clear way forward expected in the coming days.

@benjaminwafula

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