The opposition NASA has protested the signing of new election laws by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Uhuru signed the controversial Elections (Amendment) Bill, 201t into law on Friday afternoon.

James Orengo

Siaya Senator James Orengo addressing the press at the NASA Secretariat in Lavington, Nairobi Friday.

This was despite pressure by NASA, clerics, European Union observers and Western diplomats for Uhuru’s party to drop the proposed changes.

“We are starting the day on a very bad note because the President has signed the Election Law (Amendment) Bill which after publication will become law. He has also assented to the Election Offences (Amendment) Bill which after it is gazetted will become law,” Siaya Senator James Orengo said.

“This is really unfortunate because these election laws are turning Kenya into a banana republic, because President Uhuru Kenyatta has ensured that the laws governing the elections are laws that are favourable to him and not the people of this country.”

Senators passed the Bill during the afternoon session on Thursday chaired by speaker Kenneth Lusaka. There were no further amendments to what was forwarded by the lower House.

Among amendments in the new law is that a presidential candidate who remains in the race after the withdrawal of his or her opponent will be declared President.

The also allows manually transmitted results to prevail in case of a discrepancy between those transmitted electronically and manually.

It also provides that failure to transmit or publish the election results in an electronic format shall not invalidate the results as announced and declared by the respective presiding and returning officers at the polling station and constituency tallying centre.

The new law also allows Cabinet Secretaries to campaign without restrictions.

“We condemn the president for taking this retrogressive step in taking Kenya back to the days of one party rule. We are in a worse situation than the one during KANU days,” Orengo said.