Ju­bilee sen­a­tors pass elec­tion bill Na­tional As­sem­bly Speaker set to for­ward pro­posed law to the Pres­i­dent

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY IBRAHIM ORUKO ioruko@ke.na­tion­media.com

Kilonzo Jr in bid to fight the amend­ments

The Sen­ate has passed the con­tro­ver­sial 2017 Elec­tion Laws (Amend­ment) Bill, paving the way for its pre­sen­ta­tion to Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta two weeks be­fore the fresh pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

The Na­tional As­sem­bly Speaker Justin Mu­turi will for­ward the bill to the Pres­i­dent and should he as­sent to it, the Oc­to­ber 26 poll will be con­ducted un­der a new elec­toral regime.

The House adopted the bill with­out amend­ments even as the op­po­si­tion lead­ers boy­cotted de­bate on the pro­posed law that they have said seeks to change the rules in the mid­dle of the game.

The Na­tional As­sem­bly had in­tro­duced seven amend­ments to the bill af­ter last week’s pub­lic hear­ings. Th­ese in­clude the with­drawal of a re­quire­ment for the chair­per­son of the elec­toral com­mis­sion to be from a pro­fes­sion, other than law.

If the Pres­i­dent signs it into law, the Supreme Court will not de­clare an elec­tion void for non-com­pli­ance with the law if it ap­pears that the poll was con­ducted in ac­cor­dance with the prin­ci­ples laid down in the Con­sti­tu­tion and that the non-com­pli­ance did not sub­stan­tially af­fect the re­sult of the elec­tion.

At­tempts by Makueni Se­na­tor Mu­tula Kilonzo Jr to in­tro­duce fur­ther amend­ments to the bill failed. The se­na­tor had sub­mit­ted a raft of amend­ments which had been ap­proved by Speaker Ken Lusaka, but was not present when the bill when to the third read­ing.

Mr Kilonzo Jr had pro­posed for the dele­tion of the pro­posal that re­quires the vice chair­per­son of the com­mis­sion to step in, in the ab­sence of the chair­per­son and the pro­posal to re­duce to four the num­ber of com­mis­sion­ers for the pur­pose of a quo­rum.

He had fur­ther pro­posed an amend­ment to com­pel the poll agency to elec­tron­i­cally trans­mit the re­sults of an elec­tion of the pres­i­dent from a polling sta­tion to the con­stituency tal­ly­ing cen­tre and to the na­tional tal­ly­ing cen­tre.

Con­tacted, Mr Kilonzo said he had not de­fended his amend­ments for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons. “That is how pol­i­tics is played in this coun­try,” he said, with­out elab­o­rat­ing.

The pas­sage of the bill capped a day of drama when the Sen­ate lead­er­ship went to great lengths to in­su­late the bill from a pos­si­ble le­gal chal­lenge as had been promised by the Op­po­si­tion in the event the Pres­i­dent as­sented to it.

The dele­tion of the pro­posal that re­quires the vice chair­per­son of the com­mis­sion to step in, in the ab­sence of the chair­per­son” Mu­tula Kilonzo Jr in pro­posed amend­ments


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