Kenya AG to publish draft on May 6

April 29, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – Attorney General Amos Wako has finally confirmed that he will publish the Proposed Constitution next Thursday in readiness for the August referendum.

Mr Wako told journalists on Thursday that although the document was ready, “I have chosen to make full use of the time given to me under the law, to allow more people to register as voters.”

“In the interest of having many people participate in the referendum, I have withheld the Proposed Constitution for some time,” he added.

The AG received the draft law from Parliament on April 7 but had been petitioned by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission to delay to the end of his period to allow them finalise the vote registration which closes on Wednesday.

After the publication, the IIEC will have 90 days from the publication date to announce a referendum on the document.

The publication will also set the stage for thirty days of national civic education program to be spearheaded by the Committee of Experts.

The announcement came barely a day after the collapse of consensus building negotiations between the church and the State signaling the possibility of a hotly contested referendum and deals the final blow to the hopes of churches for amendments before the referendum. 

The Cabinet on Tuesday ruled out any agreement to institute changes before the referendum springing the walkout by the church.

The church is opposed to the inclusion of Kadhis courts and a clause that they say leaves a loophole for the legalisation of abortion in the draft law. Church leaders have also opposed the exemption of Muslims from some sections of the Bill of Rights.

Christians have also raised an alarm that the draft leaves a loophole in the ratification of international treaties and agreements claiming that there is no requirement that all should be approved by Parliament.

“Many of the important treaties will have to go to Parliament without approval especially those that need us to domesticate them. However there are those that will not need to go through that process and will be adopted by Cabinet,” said Mr Wako.


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