, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 26 – Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and the National Council of Churches of Kenya have opposed attempts to push the next general elections to August 2013.
Mudavadi and NCCK General Secretary Peter Karanja said any attempts to move the election date beyond March 4, 2013 will be unpopular with Kenyans. The move could mean the current Parliament will extend its term beyond January 13, 2013.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) set March 4, 2013 as its preferred election date.
“Kenyans have already set themselves for March elections. Anything beyond the date set by the IEBC will be pushing Kenyans beyond a cliff. I am strongly saying here that we stand for a process where we can clear this process in March as the latest,” said Mudavadi, who is the United Democratic Forum (UDF) party presidential aspirant.
Karanja on his part said: “Kenyans will not allow politicians to use unconstitutional ways to extend their term.”
“The political class should appreciate that Kenyans will be very impatient if there is any attempt to move the election date any further. It is imperative that we move systematically towards the next elections as scheduled and put it behind us.”
Speaking at separate function, Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa also dismissed reports that some Cabinet ministers were among those scheming for an August 2013 election.
He maintained that the general elections will be held in March 2013, and urged Kenyans to ignore the reports as mere ‘rumours’.
Those advocating for the August 2013 date argue that the IEBC is not ready to hold the elections on March 4 given the delay in awarding the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) tender and the mapping of 80 new constituencies.
During the polls, the first since the passage of the new Constitution, voters will elect a president, senators, county governors, MPs, county representatives and women’s representatives.
According to the IEBC timetable, voter registration should start next month followed by the compilation of the register in September.
Voters were scheduled to inspect the register in October.
Tenders for election materials, including ballot papers and boxes which were supposed to have been bought between last month and December, have been advertised.
Meanwhile, the NCCK will next month host a forum for all presidential aspirants where they will interact and dialogue with church leaders.
Karanja said they will engage all presidential aspirants to express their concern for peace and seek their commitment for the same.
“NCCK considers peace and national cohesion, implementation of the Constitution, devolution and equity in national development, Vision 2030 and the cost of living as issues the presidential candidates must address themselves to.”