NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 1- The electoral law changes fronted by Jubilee are in line with the Supreme Court ruling, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
Ruto insists that the Supreme Court ruling which annulled Jubilee’s August 8 election win questioned loopholes in the transmission of the poll outcome, which can only be sealed through legal changes.
“The Supreme Court said the systems had issues and the only way to change them is through a change of laws. Agwambo (Raila Odinga) himself has said ‘no reforms, no elections’ and that is why we need to do the reforms in Parliament,” the Deputy President said.
In the proposed amendments in the election laws, he says officials who manipulate the process will be prosecuted.
According to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the electoral law changes will directly remove the lacuna cited by Supreme Court in nullifying the August 8 presidential poll.
He says changes to the electoral laws will guarantee transparency by ensuring any form of malpractice is curbed.
He also said an election was about and belonged to the Kenyan people and not the candidates.
“There is no way that the government will allow any person to block any voter from exercising their right to choose the leader or leaders of their choice,” President Kenyatta said.
The two leaders were speaking Saturday when they met a 20,000-strong delegation, including at least 500 representatives from each constituency in Western Kenya.
Odinga has called for countrywide demonstrations from Monday, to among other to pile pressure on the government to drop the proposed amendments and removal of certain IEBC officials.
Legal experts have however cautioned both NASA and Jubilee to act in sobriety saying the Constitution must be respected.
And according to them, Kenya is ailing from its past missteps while dealing with the aftermath of elections, where political solutions have superseded the law.
Lawyer Kibe Mungai says the law should be strictly followed more so when it comes to firing or demanding the resignation of certain officials working for constitutional bodies.
While making reference to the current demands by the National Super Alliance that some IEBC officials vacate office for the October election to be held, he insists the law must be followed cautioning that such moves could amount to intimidation.
“At the end of the day, if we don’t get it right and somehow we push Kenya into a crisis or unable to prevent a crisis, both Jubilee and NASA will be held liable,” Mungai said during an interview with Capital FM News.
While Jubilee says it’s are ready for the October 26 election, NASA insists that some changes have to be made in the electoral body including removal of some ten IEBC officials from office, whom they accuse of bungling the August 8 poll, that was annulled by the Supreme Court.
But lawyer Mungai cautions about the precedent saying such officials are protected by law and can only be forced out of office through legal means upon proving they have participated in an illegality.