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Citizen Weekly

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

ODM DRAFTING LAW TO SEPARATE POLLS




The Orange Democratic Movement is proposing a law to separate the presidential election from county polls.
The party is discussing with its Opposition partners to have the law in place before the 2017 General Election.
This comes as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission seeks an amendment of election laws to allow Kenyans to vote using expired passports and photocopies of national identity cards.
ODM Director of Elections Junet Mohammed on Wednesday said his office was working on proposals that could usher in a new electoral regime.
In 2013, six elections were held on the same day in which voters picked a President, 47 senators, 47 governors, 290 MPs, 47 county woman representatives and 1,450 members of county assemblies.
He said the party would recommend that the President, National Assembly members and county woman representatives are elected together and governors, senators and county assembly members chosen 60 days later.
“We are working on a thorough legislation which will see these proposals adopted before we can go to the next elections.
“The first elections involving that of the President and members of the National Assembly together with the county woman representatives will be referred to as the National Elections, while the other involving county representatives would be referred to as the County Elections,” Mr Mohammed said.
If the proposal succeeds, the presidential election should be held in August and the County Elections in November, according to Mr Mohammed, who is also the Suna East MP.
He argued that the one-day election undermines the quality of polls leading to costly mistakes and hundreds of pre-election disputes and post-election petitions.
He said Cord legislators would hold a retreat in a few weeks to fine-tune the proposed law, which he said would reduce the IEBC’s workload.
The congestion and confusion associated with a one-off election for all the six electoral positions, the MP said, was a recipe for fraud and chaos.
“It is clear that the IEBC was straining in handling all the six elections together,” he said, citing the confusion over spoilt votes during the last elections.
IEBC chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan acknowledged that the commission faced challenges in conducting the six elections together.
“Conducting the multiple elections over a one-day period was a daunting task that called for the goodwill and unreserved effort of many,” Mr Hassan said.