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Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai/FILE

Kenya

AG backs December poll date

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 26 – Attorney General Githu Muigai has now supported a proposal to have the date of the General Election moved to December.

The AG on Wednesday termed it realistic to change the election month from August to December next year to allow for thorough and effective preparations required to hold credible elections.

“We should not abandon a major Constitutional principle for fear of being seen as allegedly tampering with the new Constitution,” he said referring to the proposed Constitutional amendment to make achievable the one-third gender rule as well as change the election month.

Speaking at a meeting with officials of the Kenyan chapter of the International Commission of Jurists, ICJ (K), he added that August was too close to hold the elections considering the amount of work that needed to be done, including, registration of Diaspora voters and execution of new electoral constituencies.

“Should we worry about the three months or should we worry more that every conceivable provision is in place to ensure a flawless election?” he posed.

“Such a high threshold of credibility will help the country keep off post-poll chaos,” he stated.

On the pending vetting of judges, Professor Muigai said that the process of vetting judges and magistrates should be done urgently and objectively to avoid going to elections with a Judiciary that has a clean bill of health.

He said the Judicial Service Commission, of which he is an ex-officio member, remained committed to a fair and just vetting system devoid of “witch hunt, vindictiveness or humiliation” to the judicial officers.

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ICJ (K) Secretary General George Kegoro issued the AG with a memorandum that urged for re-consideration of a local Special Tribunal to look into other cases of post election chaos.

He said such a tribunal will ensure justice and reconciliation as had been proven by the ‘Gachacha courts’ Rwanda model in which victims came face-to-face with perpetrators of the genocide for purposes of reparation and reconciliation.

“We need justice, yes but we also need to temper it with reconciliation and peace,” Kegoro said.

He called on the government to develop a policy on reparation for displaced people or those who lose their property in circumstances such as the post-poll violence.

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