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2017 KENYA ELECTIONS

Uhuru signs elections bill into law

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the law, which allows manual backup of the electronic voting system, was signed into law Monday evening/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 9 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2016 into law.

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the law, which allows manual backup of the electronic voting system, was signed into law Monday evening.

President Kenyatta’s move comes even as the Opposition threatened mass action if the law became effective.

According to the Opposition, a manual voting system will allow ineligible people to vote thereby tilting the intended vote outcome.

However the ruling coalition and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission have dismissed the claims, saying elections will be held through electronic voting since the manual system is just a backup in case the electronics system fails.

The law was passed by the Senate last week after Jubilee lawmakers put up a spirited fight to ensure it sailed through without any changes.

Some 26 lawmakers voted for the Bill as 10 opposed it.

The joint legal affairs and ICT committee had agreed that technology should be used in this year’s elections and that a backup mechanism would only be triggered if there is a failure of technology in exceptional cases.

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