Jubilee Lawmakers To Amend Elections Act Ambiguity That Gave Room For Annulment

Lawmakers of the ruling coalition are ready to use its numerical advantage in the National Assembly to force through an amendment to the Elections Act in order to avoid the possible annulment of disputed elections.

At the center of the issue is the Supreme Court’s decision to annul President Uhuru Kenyatta’s August 8 victory on the grounds that there were anomalies in the electronic transmission of results, from the polling stations to the national tallying center.

Jubilee Party Secretary-General, Rafael Tuju said:

“The judgment alluded to the fact that it may be necessary to address some of the legislation to get rid of any ambiguity that has been created by the Supreme Court ruling.”

Jubilee Party is now seeking to amend section 44(1) of the Elections Act, in a bid to cure the ambiguity on use of technology in the identification of voters and transmission of poll results.

In the amendment bill, Jubilee will request that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission publishes the complementary mechanism it would resort to, should it encounter challenges in transmitting results, as it happened in last month election, where up to 11,000 polling stations were not covered by 3G or 4G technology.

IEBC says the complementary mechanism exists with Commissioner, Roslyne Akombe, saying that if there is no technology, the returning officers are required to bring the election results forms physically to the national tallying center.

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Jubilee Party is also planning to take away key powers from the courts. It is planning to amend section 83 of the Elections Act to establish qualitative and quantitative indicators, as well as the threshold for annulling a presidential election.

Jubilee proposes to substitute the word ‘or’ with ‘and’, to compel the supreme court to consider elections results, and the effect any non-compliance with electoral laws would have, before invalidating the results.

The proposed changes are set to be the next point of contention between lawmakers on both sides of the aisle with there just being 32 days to the repeat presidential polls.