NASA and Jubilee face pressure from foreign missions
Nineteen days to the repeat presidential election and the Western democracies continue to pile pressure on both NASA and Jubilee to abandon their grandstanding on the repeat election.
United Kingdom’s Africa Minister Rory Stewart has in a statement urged Jubilee party to abandon proposed amendments to election laws, cautioning that NASA’s threat to boycott the repeat polls could worsen the country’s political situation.
Despite efforts by IEBC to bring the political contenders to a common ground, the opposition alliance NASA has stood its ground that it has no confidence in the commission being a neutral arbiter as currently constituted.
NASA’s main contention is the participation of at least 11 IEBC staff members whom it accuses of meddling in the August 8 election that had declared President Uhuru Kenyatta victorious.
The UK Africa Minister has taken issue with the hard-line position adopted by NASA, heightened by the bi-weekly demonstrations against IEBC.
Stewart, however, has called on security authorities to desist from using extra force to contain such protests.
This comes after the US State department in a statement termed NASA’s conduct against IEBC as baseless, unreasonable and divisive. The statement called on political leaders to dialogue with IEBC as invited openly, seriously and in good faith.
On Friday, IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati sought to assure NASA of its readiness to conduct a fair election while unveiling a seven-member project team that would appear to sideline officials that NASA has questioned.
On Tuesday next week, a joint select committee of the Senate and the National Assembly is set to table a report on amendments to the electoral laws which have been opposed by the opposition.
While IEBC has given its opinion agreeing with some of the proposed changes and objecting to others, the UK Minister finds the amendments unnecessary in assuring the country of a peaceful process.
Stewart has instead advised that “both sides work with the IEBC cooperatively and in a spirit of dialogue as it sets out arrangements for the new elections.”
The position shared by the US State department reiterates it’s not the best international practice to make changes to electoral laws without broad agreement too close to a poll.
The IEBC chairman on Friday indicated that the commission is finalizing on a document showing the concessions reached between NASA and themselves that should essentially settle the concerns raised by the opposition, hoping to clear the path towards October 26.
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