The National Super Alliance (NASA), Jubilee Party, and IEBC talks regarding the repeat presidential elections have collapsed. This is after representatives of the opposition walked out of the meeting after Jubilee MPs went ahead with the Elections Act amendment.
IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati, however, re-assured Kenyans that the commission will conduct an election on October 26.
“Today, we met Jubilee and NASA representatives but we did not make any meaningful progress in the talks because of the bill in parliament, but, I assure you that we will have elections on October 26,” Chebukati said.
He called on both party representatives to reconsider and come back to the negotiating table saying that the commission will not relent in its bid to ensure that the two sides agree on contentious issues before the repeat presidential election.
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Speaking after the collapsed closed-door meeting, Siaya Senator James Orengo called the talks an exercise in futility before accusing his Jubilee counterparts of developing a hardline stance on the matter.
”This meeting with IEBC doesn’t make any sense and the chairman of the commission also feels the same way. The rules of the game should be fair, justifiable and agreed by all players but as it stands the meeting doesn’t make much sense because Jubilee Party is arrogant,” Orengo said.
He went on to lash out at the Jubilee lawmakers for amending the law governing elections saying that they are reversing what has been achieved with the constitution.
“We shall leave Jubilee to do whatever they wish and want, but they should be held responsible for what happens thereafter. They want to amend the law to make sure that manual results supersedes electronically transmitted results. They’re also amending the law that required that chairman of the IEBC be an advocate of the High Court, similarly, they are also are amending the law to sanitize parts of the Electoral Offences Act that outlawed the use of State resources.”
Senate Deputy Speaker, Kithure Kindiki, dismissed the claim that Jubilee lawmaker was to blame for the collapse of the IEBC talks.
He accused NASA of issuing the electoral commission with demands aimed at derailing preparations for the repeat presidential election.
“This country doesn’t belong to one group of people. NASA should not bulldoze agendas at the meeting, we shall not allow that. NASA’s demands are meant to ensure that the election does not happen in Kenya while we are only demanding that the election must go ahead as scheduled,” said Kindiki.
His sentiments were echoed by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen who added that NASA issued the commission with 17 fresh demands it wants to be met before the poll.
”NASA is not keen on engaging us on a meeting they are using the amendment of the Elections Act act as a smokescreen. The Bill amending the Elections Act does not in any way change the transmission of results. We are just providing a mechanism for alternative transmission,” Murkomen said.