The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy CORD leaders calls off mass protest scheduled for January 4 to give the Senate time to discuss changes to the Election Laws Bill.
Speaking to the press during a press conference on Thursday co-principal of the party Kalonzo Musyoka said the decision will allow the Senate Committee on Legal Affairs effectively conclude deliberations on the controversial Bill on the amendments to election laws which were passed by Parliament.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Senators James Orengo (Siaya) and Moses Wetang’ula (Bungoma) lauded the Senate for allowing the public to give views on the amendment.
Mr. Musyoka – who addressed journalists at his Karen home – was accompanied by Ford Kenya leader and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and Siaya Senator James Orengo.
The opposition had said they would hold peaceful street protests against what they termed as ‘attempts to rig the 2017 general election’.
He said that Cord will continue to pursue a court case challenging what the opposition has termed as the illegal convention of the National Assembly by House Speaker Justin Muturi.
“We believe that Parliament was not rightfully convened and we will continue to pursue that matter in Parliament even as we keep our ears on what is happening in the Senate,” Mr. Musyoka added.
Mr. Wetang’ula said it is the right time to totally deal with the issue of perennial election in order to salvage Kenyans from unwarranted pre-election panic.
“The Bill from the National Assembly has generated a lot of anger.
“This was an attempt to bend the law. But we want to laud the Senate for being sober in handling this divisive matter that was threatening to tear our country,” Mr. Wetang’ula said.
“It will be unfair to have a situation where one player is creating the rules of the game. We insist that any unfair legal structures will remain unacceptable,” Mr. Wetang’ula added.
Leader Raila Odinga told a press briefing that the changed laws were pushed as part of a plot to interfere with the August 8 Election.
Previously, a special sitting at the National Assembly on December 21 turned chaotic; Cord MPs walked out while Jubilee’s passed the contentious election laws.
Among the laws the MPs passed was a proposal by Majority leader Aden Duale for MCA candidates to have at least a degree by 2022 to qualify for an election.
They also passed a law that will regulate election campaign financing; a law that seeks to reduce the time within which persons ought to have opened mandatory bank accounts.
The CORD leaders lauded the Senate and urged the Committee chaired by Busia Senator Amos Wako to fine tune the proposed amendments.