IEBC recruits 100 clerks to verify Okoa Kenya signatures

Former IEBC chair Issack Hassan in a past press briefing. [Photo/Courtesy]

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Saturday began a verification process of the 1.4 million signatures submitted by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) in support of the Okoa Kenya Constitutional Amendment Bill.

IEBC Chair Issack Hassan says 100 temporary clerks have been hired to facilitate digitization of the signature records which will lead to the verification of signatures –a process that must be completed before the process of amending the 2010 supreme law can commence.

The electoral body has, however, been accused of inaction with various parties saying that IEBC is frustrating the CORD constitutional amendment agenda.

These individuals noted that three months had elapsed since CORD presented 1.4 million signatures in bundles of booklets to the IEBC.

In a statement to newsrooms, IEBC Chair Hassan has refuted claims of inaction saying they had been in talks with the National Treasury for provision of finances to hire 100 clerks to facilitate the process.

The clerks will transfer the manual data into electronic format after which IEBC staff will run the data against that of registered voters to confirm that at least 1 million voters support the Okoa Kenya Constitutional Amendment Initiative.

IEBC has further promised that the verification report will be ready by the end of February 2016 and the Commission will be giving updates on the status of verification.

The 47 county assemblies will then be required to consider the draft bill for a period not exceeding three months.

According to the constitution article 257, at least 24 county assemblies must endorse the bill after which the National Assembly and the Senate shall consider it.

If both houses endorse the constitutional amendment bill, then the President will be required to sign it into law. Should either one of the legislative houses shoot down the Bill, a national referendum will have to be held within 90 days.

Recently, legislators from the Jubilee Coalition hit back at CORD leader Raila Odinga following his ‘State of the Nation’ address concerning the Okoa Kenya Referendum push early January.

The legislators accused CORD of inciting the public to violence, noting that their remarks against IEBC were tailored to dim public confidence in the institution.

The Jubilee legislators dismissed Okoa Kenya as a plot to mutilate the Constitution.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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