NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 1 – The Joint Parliamentary Committee tasked with hearing views of the public and all interested parties on the proposed changes to the election laws kicks off its public hearings Tuesday at County Hall.
The hearings come even after members of the National Super Alliance (NASA) continued to make good their threat that they will not sit on the committee, insisting that they will only engage their Jubilee counterparts until the proposed Bills are withdrawn.
On Saturday, Baringo North Member of Parliament William Cheptumo who is the head of the joint committee invited the public and other interested parties to submit their views before the 10-day period of public participation lapses.
“Any perception created will be clear shortly as we prepare to receive views from the public. It will be clear to Kenyans that these amendments are done in good faith and we are going to prove that,” said Cheptumo.
He explained that written memoranda will be received between Monday and Thursday.
“Beginning Monday up to Thursday we will be receiving written memoranda and thereafter we are going to assess them and we want to assure the public that this committee will listen to every party that is willing to come forward,” said Cheptumo.
The stakeholders invited by the Cheptumo-led team include the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), political parties, civil society and religious leaders among others to present proposals on the targeted laws.
The election laws have sharply divided the two main coalitions in the country.
As the members of the committee gear up to the listen to the views of the public and with 25 days to the repeat presidential election, the electoral commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati has publicly said that the proposed changes to the election laws were uncalled for.
“We do not need any more laws to give Kenyans an election on 26 of October, but if Parliament passes the laws I hope they will not change the framework we have put in place because if they do so they will put us in a precarious situation,” said Chebukati.