NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 4 – The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) on Wednesday said it was the responsibility of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to work with the police to ensure peaceful elections instead of threatening to cancel polls.
CORD leader Raila Odinga said IEBC should work closely with security agencies to ensure a peaceful by-election in Homa Bay after recent cases of violence.
“IEBC should work with the security agencies to ensure there is peace and an atmosphere conducive to a peaceful campaign. I think it will be defeatist for IEBC to try to cancel a by-election. If they cancel a by-election what will happen to a General Election? The authorities have a responsibility,” he asserted.
Odinga explained that little has been done to identify and punish perpetrators behind chaos in Homa Bay County and in other political meetings.
According to Odinga, when such people go unpunished, recurrence of violence in political meetings is unavoidable.
He urged authorities to take action especially where perpetrators have been identified.
Moses Kajwang’, the ODM candidate in Homa Bay was roughed up and injured while attending a funeral in Rangwe Constituency.
IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Simiyu on Tuesday after being sworn-in urged the electorate to observe peace in the two by-elections.
He warned parties taking part in the two by-elections against engaging in violence and other electoral malpractices.
Odinga called on CORD supporters to observe peace and vote democratically to ensure by elections in Homa Bay County and Kajiado Central are conducted peacefully.
Odinga spoke when CORD’s candidate in Kajiado Central, Elijah Memusi, received his nomination certificate from the party’s electoral board.
He urged CORD supporters to accompany Memusi when he presents his papers before the IEBC on February 16 when CORD will launch its campaign for the Kajiado Central seat.
The seat fell vacant after Joseph Nkaissery was appointed Interior Cabinet Secretary.
Odinga said CORD protested the appointment since the party was not consulted by its rival party Jubilee coalition.
However, he said the party was ready to battle it out in the by-election to ensure CORD’s candidate Memusi, clinches on the seat.