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Senate defers debate on contentious changes to electoral law to Jan. 4

Senate in session/CFM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 28 – The Senate has deferred debate on the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill to allow the House Standing Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to obtain submissions from Civil Society groups and members of the public.

In a communiqué to the House after a heated debate on whether today’s special sitting was properly constituted, Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro said the Senators would be recalled early next year to debate the committee’s report before the house considers the proposed amendments.

“The Standing Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights must therefore proceed with speed and be ready to table its report on January 4, 2017 when the Senate is expected to assemble,” said Speaker Ekwe Ethoro.

He declined to adjourn the afternoon sitting following a legal challenge raised by Siaya Senator James Orengo who said the removal of the mace during the break rendered the business closed.

However Ethuro overruled his challenge on the grounds that: “Unless you don’t live in the great republic of Kenya, unless you’re not a candidate in the next election, unless you’re not aware of what has been happening in our politics, there can be nothing greater, nothing exceptional than trying to sort out election matters in good time,” said Speaker Ethuro in a ruling.

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