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AG Muigai defends manual voting system backup

He stated that every system has a failure component to it thus making it necessary to have a fall back plan/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 3 – Attorney General Githu Muigai has defended the use of the manual backup system in voting, arguing that electronic systems could fail.

Speaking during the public hearings on the Election Law (Amendment) Bill, Muigai said electronic systems are vulnerable to unforeseen circumstances adding that it will be necessary to have an alternative.

He stated that every system has a failure component to it thus making it necessary to have a fall back plan.

“Any voter who woke up early in the morning, has been in the queue and is ready to vote should never be turned away merely because the electronic system has failed. If that system fails, we are empowering IEBC to have a default mode for that purpose,” he explained.

He also warned that time is of essence and hence it is important to have the discussions completed as fast as possible so the country doesn’t miss the election timelines.

“The Joint Committee of both Houses was motivated by the desire to ensure that there is no delay… that we go to an election on time prepared in the correct way; sometimes the medicine can be stronger than the disease,” he added.

Muigai was among stakeholders giving oral presentations and submission of memoranda on the election laws.

Others who made presentations included Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Kiprono Kittony who emphasised the need for a manual backup system.

Religious leaders have called for calm and urged both the Opposition and the Jubilee Government to resolve the issue amicably.

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The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims Secretary General Al Haj Adan Wachu says the stalemate is detrimental to peaceful election come August 2017.

“We also did not object as Kenyans to question of the fall back… fall back is very important even in hospitals other than getting a supply from the main grid there is a back up in the event of it disappearing the generators are normally put on,” he urged.

The Senate deferred debate on the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill to Wednesday, in a bid to allow the House Standing Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to obtain submissions from civil society groups and members of the public.

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