Senate debate on election laws pushed to Wednesday


Senate debate on election laws pushed to Wednesday

Senate’s debate on election laws was on Wednesday pushed forward by a week to the 4th January 2017.

Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro also directed the Senate Legal Affairs Committee to invite public participation on the contentious amendments to the election laws.

The Senate Legal Affairs is now expected to take views on the elections laws from the public and different stakeholders and table the report on January 4, 2017 during a special sitting of the Senate.

The Senate Legal Affairs Committee Chair Amos Wako has welcomed the move, while the CORD coalition has moved to court seeking to suspend any debate decisions, mediations or approvals on the contentious election amendment laws.

Through Lawyer James Orengo, CORD argues that the Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate contravened the constitution, the standing orders of the National Assembly and the Senate and the Fair Administrative Action Act by calling a special session to debate the contentious amendments.

CORD argues that the electoral system of Kenya is established as an integrated electronic electoral system contrary to the amended election laws which allows manual system of voting.

Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate as well as Attorney-General Githu Muigai have been named as respondents.

The Senate special sitting held on Wednesday was called to debate the contentious amendments to the election.

Kenyans now have to wait for the Senate to either pass the amendments or strike down the changes passed by the National Assembly which allowed the IEBC to use manual system of voting and transmission of results if the electronic system fails.

Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro called Wednesday’s special sitting a week after the chaotic session in the National Assembly where CORD MPs walked out as Jubilee colleagues passed the amendments.

Last week, the National Assembly members allied to the ruling Jubilee faction amended the electoral laws effectively re-introducing the manual voter identification and transmission of election results in cases where the electronic system fails.

Upon voting in favour of the amendments, the Jubilee legislators, led by Majority Leader Aden Duale accused the opposition of asking for the impossible by demanding that the election is conducted electronically.

Senate Speaker, Ekwee Ethuro, convened the special sitting saying that the decision was informed by a request by the Senate Majority Leader, Kithure Kindiki, and endorsed by 15 other senators.

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