, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 25 – National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso has barred any further amendments to the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee Report on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
In her Communication to the House, Laboso said the she will only admit amendments if they have written consent from both the Majority Leader Aden Duale and Minority Leader Francis Nyenze.
- Duale said any amendments to the IEBC Report at this stage would be unprocedural given it was the result of a consultative process
- He stated that the process of recruitment and appointment of new commissioners should commence urgently to ensure that the 8 August 2017 General Elections are conducted on schedule by a polls body that enjoys broad confidence of Kenyans
- The report drafted following negotiations led by Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi and Siaya Senator James Orengo recommends among others recommends the formation of a new seven member electoral commission by September 30
Laboso said she based her ruling on a July 25 directive delivered by House Speaker Justin Muturi that no amendment should be done on the Special Motion establishing the JPSC because it was drafted following an agreement between the two coalitions.
She further agreed with the House Leaderships that any changes would affect the timeline for having new IEBC Commissioners in office by September 30.
The Speaker ruled she had allowed the deletion of the paragraph 659 sub-paragraph 7 that outlawed party hopping when a member loses in party primaries but cautioned that any further amendments will affect a nine-step electoral reform implementation road-map.
The steps include the adoption of the report, passage of the Elections Laws (Amendment) Bill 2016, Election Offences Bill by the two Houses, assent off the two Bills by the President, appointment of the Selection Panel by the President in accordance with the new law.
This will then give way to the fifth step which is nomination of the new IEBC commissioners by the Selection Committee, the approval of the National Assembly of the new IEBC Commissioner, appointment of the new IEBC commissioners by the President in accordance with the new law and the Constitution.
Step eight is the assumption of office by the new commissioners including taking of oath of office and finally the handing over office by the current IEBC commissioners to the new Commissioners and eventually vacation of office.
Earlier, Duale called on MPs to pass the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee Report on the IEBC Thursday afternoon without making any further amendments to it.
“We have asked the Speaker to make a ruling on the proceedings yesterday (Wednesday) and whether the duly outlined process in the Standing Order was followed. We have communicated to our members that the report should not be amended. No comma or full stop should be removed or added. We have instructions from our party leaders that the report shouldn’t be amended,” the Majority Leader stated earlier.
The Garissa Township MP said that it is upon Kenyans to decide whether there will be party hopping or not, adding that even in executing their mandate, MPs should be considerate to due processes and the House Standing Orders.
“We will not and do not entertain party hopping. If you feel nominations will be rigged, decided to be an independent candidate. We must not be dishonest as MPs,” he added.
Duale said any amendments to the IEBC Report at this stage would be unprocedural given it was the result of a consultative process.
He stated that the process of recruitment and appointment of new commissioners should commence urgently to ensure that the 8 August 2017 General Elections are conducted on schedule by a polls body that enjoys broad confidence of Kenyans.
The report drafted following negotiations led by Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi and Siaya Senator James Orengo recommends among others recommends the formation of a new seven member electoral commission by September 30.
The 14 member joint select committee further recommends the cleaning of voter register, adoption of an electronic voting system and the selection of a nine-member panel to pick the next IEBC commissioners and the publishing of aspirants names 21 days before nominations and barring of nominations from running as independent candidates or moving to other parties.