NAIROBI, Kenya, July 30 – Emotions ran high in the National Assembly on Wednesday as MPs voted to shoot down a petition that sought to dismiss the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman and eight Commissioners from office.
The MPs extended the afternoon sitting to discuss the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee report which had to be approved before midnight, but the debate was short-lived as CORD MPs walked out of the House after an hour in to the debate.
Majority Leader Aden Duale and Saku MP Ali Raso were jeered by the Opposition MPs as they castigated the CORD coalition for trying to disband the electoral body because they did not win the March 2013 General Election.
“I must speak the truth… this petition is about the removal of IEBC, but people have to follow the constitutional way of doing things,” Duale said even as Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso tried to control members’ contributions.
Raso said he was concerned with the trend which is being set following the disbandment of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya following the disputed presidential elections of 2007.
“From the goings-on it appears that if you don’t win the problem is the IEBC. We have to move away from this, because the referee can’t be wrong all the time, the player could easily be wrong on the pitch,” said the Saku MP.
Ugenya MP David Ochieng rose on a point of order to argue that Duale, Raso and some Jubilee Coalition MPs had misunderstood the petition.
“Are the members including the mover of the motion in order to keep on saying that we are looking for what we did not get in the courts? He continued, “Yet this petition is very clear it does not talk about making Raila (Odinga, the Opposition leader) the President or anything like that.”
Kisumu Town MP Ken Obura and his Tiaty counterpart Asman Kamama engaged in a war of words with each taunting the other that their respective coalition would carry the day when the next polls are called.
“I don’t know who will conduct the 2017 election but I know it will not be this current IEBC,” Obura said.
“Forget about the tyranny of numbers of 2013. What you are going to face in 2017 is a total waterloo,” Kamama retorted.
When CORD lawmakers walked out, the vote was called and the matter came to a close.