NAIROBI, Kenya, October 10 – Veteran Politician Paul Muite has opposed proposed amendments to the Constitution that seek to postpone the election date from August next year to December 2012.
Speaking during a press conference, Muite said legislators should put due diligence in passing necessary laws rather than concentrating on pushing forward the election date.
The House is due to resume on Tuesday after a one month’s recess to a timetable full of crucial Bills that need to be passed.
“You saw the other day this same Parliament passing eight Bills within two days. Lack of time is being used in order to change the date of the elections because the President, the Prime Minister and Members of Parliament would like to add themselves another four months in office,” he said.
He further stated that MPs should only strive to amend the Constitution should it be for the good of the Kenyan people.
“Power cannot be exercised arbitrarily for the benefit of the individual or for narrow parochial interests. It needs to be exercised in the promotion of the greatest good,” he pointed out.
“The question that thus needs to be asked is whether this power given to Parliament to amend the Constitution is in the interests of the Kenyan people.”
The Cabinet last month put in motion steps to change the day Kenyans will vote in their leaders. It approved a Constitution Amendment Bill 2011 that proposes to move the date of holding the General Election to December.
The suggested date is the third Monday of December, which falls on December 17 for the next general election.
The Constitution provides that an election will be held on the second Tuesday, every fifth year.
“Cabinet found the date to be appropriate in view of the government budgetary cycle and the time required for preparations for the next elections, especially in regard to the issue of devolution and delineation of constituencies,” said a statement sent at the time.
The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) had earlier accused the Cabinet of acting with impunity over its plan to change the date of the next elections.
The CIC and MPs Abdikadir Mohammed and Eugene Wamalwa warned against amending the new Constitution to move the General Election from August to December 2012.
CIC chair Charles Nyachae said the decision was driven by short-term, selfish interests of a few politicians.