Changing electoral laws now could lead to nullification of repeat polls results, say Coast lobby groups
Two lobby groups in Mombasa have asked MPs to shelve their plans to change the election laws saying the timing is wrong and could lead to the nullification of the October 26 repeat presidential election.
Haki Africa and Institute for land, Governance and Human Rights (ILGHR) on Sunday said elections laws should be changed at least six months to elections and not less than three weeks as pushed by Jubilee MPs.
“In order for a level playing field, we believe electoral laws should be passed at least six months before any election,” said Haki Africa executive director Hussein Khalid.
He spoke at a joint press conference between them and ILGHR at their Haki Africa offices in Mombasa.
ILGHR coordinator Goodluck Mbaga said ad hoc committee on election laws has been biased towards organizations and commissions based in Nairobi leaving out those based at the Coast and other parts of the country.
“Election laws affect all voters in the country and all of them should be given equal opportunities to air their views. So far, we have been seeing only Nairobi-based organizations giving their views,” said Mbaga.
He said this goes against the spirit of devolution and constitutionalism.
Khalid said elections is a process and any attempt to taint the electoral process
“These ill-timed amendments could be construed as interference with the electoral process and lead again to the nullification of the elections when they finally happen,” said Khalid.
He said any effort to improve any law should not lock out any citizen.
Khalid and Mbaga said the IEBC should be given room to ensure they correct the wrongs doen in the August 8 polls that led to the nullification of the presidential results by the Supreme Court on September 1.
“Politicians should realize that they are supposed to be addressing the interests of the citizens and not their own selfish interests,” Mbaga noted.
Jubilee MPs are bulldozing their way into changing the laws ahead of the October 26 presidential rerun pitting Jubilee’s President Uhuru and NASA’s Raila Odinga.
NASA MPs are opposed to the change of election laws but their inferior numbers in Parliament means Jubilee will always have their way.