Why I will oppose Uhuru-Raila agreement – Aden Duale
National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale has vowed to oppose any agreement between President Uhuru Kenyatta and CORD leader Raila Odinga on the future of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Speaking during a breakfast meeting between Kenya’s Editors Guild and Members of Parliament Tuesday morning, Duale said that it is his role, as majority leader in the National Assembly, to observe and protect the Constitution and prevent mutilation of the same.
“We need to make sure that any agreements President Kenyatta reaches with CORD are in line with the Constitution. CORD’s demands are a blatant contravention of Chapter 15 of the Constitution on Commissions and Independent Offices,” he said.
Chapter 15, Article 251 (2) of the Constitution, states that; “a person desiring the removal of a member of a commission or of a holder of an independent office on any ground…may present a petition to the National Assembly setting out the alleged facts constituting that ground.
The Article further states that: “The National Assembly shall consider the petition and, if it is satisfied that it discloses a ground under clause (1), shall send the petition to the President.”
Upon receiving the petition, the president may suspend the commissioners and appoint a tribunal to investigate the matter expeditiously, report on the facts and make a recommendation for the president to act on within thirty days.
CORD has however insisted that they would not follow the parliamentary process due to Jubilee’s apparent tendency to use their majority numbers in parliament to frustrate their motions, saying any dialogue on the same should be outside parliament.
Duale further made reference to Article 249 (2) of the Constitution which states that the commissions and the holders of independent offices are independent and not subject to direction or control by any person or authority.
Responding to CORD co-principal Moses Wetangula’s utterances on Monday that since the Constitution was not drafted in Parliament but at the Bomas of Kenya, similar considerations should be made on the issue of IEBC, Duale said that it will be inconsiderate to peg an amendment of the Constitution and the sending home of commissioners on gentleman’s agreement.
He further stated that a clause in Samuel Chepkonga’s IEBC Bill calling for the inclusion of nominees from political parties in the selection panel for IEBC commissioners is a recipe for chaos, making reference to Zanzibar where there were divisions in their electoral commission due political infiltration leading to the cancellation of the results.
Duale further stated that cases of police brutality during protests should be forwarded to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) and Kenya Human Rights Commission and not Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, in accordance with the Constitution.
The Garissa Township MP has, meanwhile, claimed that the 2007 election woes resulted from a violation of the Constitution by the then Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Martha Karua who replaced six commissioners just months to the elections.
“Uhuru was the opposition leader then and when he went to Martha Karua to raise issues over the electoral agency, she challenged him using the Constitution. She however went ahead to replace some commissioners who later differed with the commission chair Samuel Kivuitu leading to the post-election chaos,” he said.
Duale further called for the creation of a referendum law in the country, saying currently there is no law that validates a referendum process based on signature collection.
“I wonder where IEBC got the law that validates a referendum process based on signatures collected because currently we do not have such a roadmap. We need a referendum law in the country.”
CORD has vowed to carry on with their protests and increase the frequency to two days a week from next week to pile pressure on IEBC commissioners to vacate office.
On Monday, CORD received a boost after the court declared their anti-IEBC protests lawful and called on police to provide security during the protests.
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