Clock ticks towards Kenya referendum

May 6, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 6 – Kenya enters the final stretch of the two-decade journey to a new Constitution on Thursday when Attorney General publishes the Proposed Constitution for public scrutiny and debate in readiness for the referendum.

The event at Kenyatta International Conference Centre is due to be officiated by President Mwai Kibaki and will be attended by senior government officers and other stakeholders who have been in the forefront in pushing for the draft.

“The President will also receive a copy of the proposed Constitution from Attorney General Amos Wako,” a brief statement from the Presidential Press Service said.

Mr Wako on Tuesday assured the Parliamentary select committee on the Constitution Review that the document remains largely as approved by the House last month except partial editing.

After publication of the draft law, the process will revert to the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) which is expected to conduct a vote on the document within the next 90 days.

The event will also set into motion the 30-day civic education program on the document to be conducted by the Committee of Experts.

The IIEC will have seven days within which to publish the referendum question and announce the referendum date 14 days later.

According to the referendum rules drafted by the commission, the IIEC has ruled out the possibility of a multiple choice referendum being proposed by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and supported by Church leaders.

The rules awaiting Parliamentary approval simply require a voter to say Yes or No to the draft. Mr Musyoka wanted the public to be given an opportunity to separately vote on the contentious issues of land, Kadhis courts and abortion.

In the meantime Church leaders have said they are in the final stages of finalising logistics for this Saturday\’s No campaign rally on the Proposed Constitution.

Chairman of the organizing committee Bishop Joseph Methu say they had notified the police of the planned meeting and had received the go ahead.

The clergymen have insisted that the rally is solely a prayer meeting and not a campaign rally.

“It shall be a time to engage in prayers and listen to issues the Church is raising with the draft,” Bishop Methu told Capital News.

The clergy plans to use at least Sh10 million on the rally mainly on Road shows, publicity and transport for participants.

The church has vehemently opposed the inclusion of Kadhis Courts and a clause they claim creates a loophole for the legalisation of abortion.


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