My fellow MPs stole elections, says Maalim

March 1, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIVASHA, Kenya, Mar 1 – Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim on Monday stunned a parliamentary workshop reviewing the electoral process when he claimed that about half of legislators in the current Parliament rigged their way to Parliament in 2007.

The Lagdera MP supported his argument by pointing out the rate at which MPs in the 10th Parliament have lost their seats in election petitions due to massive irregularities.

"This is enough evidence to show that the 2007 elections were marred with malpractices," the Deputy Speaker said.

Mr Maalim accused the same politicians of frustrating the country\’s efforts to establish proper election laws that would guarantee democracy in an electioneering process.

He said the MPs are not prepared to see the country have free and fair elections since it is by manipulating the voting process that they made it to Parliament.

"The only way to sustain democracy in the country is to have free and fair elections, which would only be possible if a proper electioneering process is established," he said.

Narc Kenya Party Leader, Martha Karua called for the disqualification of anyone found corrupting the election process, from holding public office for a period of 10 years.

This, she said, was a way of maintaining discipline within the election body.  Ms Karua advised the bodies established to look into ways of formulating a good electioneering process in the new constitution to greatly rely on experts.

"This is the only way that we will be able to achieve institutional reform," she told the workshop.

She expressed disappointment that the country was yet to learn a lesson from the mistakes of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya that was headed by Samuel Kivuitu.

"We have not moved from where we were during the Kivuitu time, where an officer would come to court and say that the devil had tempted him to announce the leader," said Ms Karua.

Jeremiah Kioni, the Deputy Chairman of PNU, expressed discontent that forums for discussing the Constitution implementation had become forums for political parties to bring out differences in each other.

"We should not give people an opportunity to go to the streets in case they lose in the election. The people of Kenya will be keener to what is going to happen after 2012 and we as a country should ensure that no war erupts from it again," Mr Kioni said.

The workshop, which ended on Tuesday at a Naivasha Hotel, had been organised by the Parliamentary committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. The workshop is also being attended by representatives from political parties and several MPs.

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