PNU backs 2012 August poll date

March 18, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – The Party of National Unity has supported the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution that the next General Elections be held in August next year.

PNU Secretary General Kiraitu Murungi on Friday said the dates in which next general elections will be held are clearly stated in the Constitution and should not be violated. He said the Coalition Government should create the precedence in ensuring that the new Constitution is implemented in totality.

"If we miss the first August then it will be impossible to implement the Constitution as written and to amend this Constitution you need another referendum," Mr Murungi said.

CIC Chairman Charles Nyachae sparked a major debate on Thursday when he announced that the elections should be held in August next year differing with Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Interim Independent Electoral Commission Chairman Issack Hassan.

Mr Nyachae said the new Constitution was clear that the elections shall be held on the second Tuesday of August after every five years.

"It will be most convenient to hold the elections in August," Mr Murungi clarified.

Mr Hassan has differed with Mr Nyachae, saying IIEC is preparing to conduct elections in December next year. Mr Kilonzo had on Thursday also remained adamant that the elections should be in December. The Kenya Law Reform Commission has termed the matter as weighty and wants it interpreted by the Supreme Court.

"PNU is committed to the implementation of the constitution," Mr Murungi said.

The transitional clauses Schedule Six part 3 (9) (1) states that the election shall be held "within sixty days after the dissolution of the National Assembly at the end of its term."

The argument has been on what constitutes a \’term\’ with those for December arguing that the term means five years. However Mr Nyachae\’s team maintains that the current Parliament has no term as under the old Constitution only the President had a fixed term. They add that it is the Head of State who then dissolves Parliament.

On the upcoming Kamukunji by election Mr Murungi said the party had resolved to hold joint nominations with its allies ODM Kenya, KANU and other affiliate parties to identify a flag bearer for the alliance.

"We shall be inviting candidates from our alliance partners in a nomination exercise to be supervised by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission," Mr Murungi said.

ODM-Kenya\’s candidate in by election Yusuf Hassan has urged fellow members of the PNU alliance to select him when the joint party nomination process comes up. Mr Hassan argued that he was the best candidate to represent the political coalition in the May 23 mini poll saying his track record speaks for itself.

"We learnt our lesson in the elections in Juja and this time we want people to make the decision," Mr Murungi said.

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