NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 15 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has assented to the new law reforming the electoral processes in the country, effectively banning party hopping.
This follows the passage of the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill through both Houses of Parliament, bringing into force the Election Laws (Amendment) Act and the Election Offences Act.
“Following the passage of the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill through both Houses of Parliament, His Excellency the President has assented to the same, bringing into force of law the Election Laws (Amendment) Act and the Election Offenses Act that brings a broad range of Electoral Reforms,” a statement from State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu indicated.
Esipisu pointed out that the Act introduces a wide range of electoral reforms including a new framework for the recruitment of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioners, while laying the platform for the orderly exit of the current office holders.
He said that the President noted that the Legislation is the product of constructive and comprehensive public participation as well as a commendable exercise of bi-partisanship in both Houses of Parliament.
“The Head of State wishes to express his sincere hope that the same will continue throughout all Parliamentary Business and with regard to all matters of National concern,” the statement further indicated.
President Kenyatta also signed into law The Kenya Regiment (Territorial force) (Repeal) Bill 2015, the Water Bill 2014, Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill 2016 and the National Government Constituency Development Fund (Amendment) Bill 2016.
During the debate of the Bill, MPs offered no room for compromise, shooting down even attempts to clean up the language of the Bill and forcing their colleagues to withdraw their proposed changes to the 2016 Election Laws (Amendment) Bill and the Election Offences Bill.
The changes to the Bill require parties to carry out their nominations at least 60 days to the elections rather than the 45 allowed currently.
Politicians would also be forced to choose their parties at least 90 days to the elections, with the Elections Act being changed to make it mandatory for parties to submit lists of their members to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) at least 90 days to the date of the General Election.