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Don't sign controversial polls law, union urges President Uhuru

By Moses Nyamori | Updated Mon, January 9th 2017 at 11:53 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta. (Photo: Beverlyne Musili/Standard)

An umbrella body for trade unions has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta not to assent to the controversial elections law.

Trade Union Congress of Kenya (TUC-Ke) – a body representing civil servants, teachers and lecturers – yesterday warned that the rising political temperatures were a threat to the country's stability as the August 8 General Election approached.

Addressing the media in Nairobi, TUC-Ke Secretary General Wilson Sossion and his Kenya University Staff Union (Kusu) counterpart Charles Mukhwaya asked Uhuru to engage CORD in seeking a bipartisan approach to the standoff.

The officials said Uhuru should not sign the bill, adding that the union would only support free, fair and credible polls.

FAIR ELECTION

ALSO READ: Uhuru calls for peaceful campaigns in run up to poll

They said it was only through free and fair elections that the country would get the right leaders to steer it to prosperity.

"We demand that the Government quickly calls for bipartisan discussions on the amended electoral law to avert impending mass action," said Mr Sossion.

"The amended electoral law should not be allowed to raise political temperatures in our country especially when we are facing elections in about seven months," he added.

Sossion supported calls for an electronic voting system, stating that the country had the capacity to use electronic means to identify voters and transmit election results without resorting to a manual backup system.

"Kenya has the capacity to carry out electronic polls. Areas not covered by mobile network can use satellite," he said.

On Thursday, Jubilee used its numerical strength in the Senate to reject any changes to the Elections Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015 that was bulldozed by Jubilee MPs in the National Assembly in a chaotic special sitting.

The changes, which propose a manual backup to the electronic voting system, are now awaiting the President's signature.

ALSO READ: Debate on manual back-up system in polls is nonsensical

CORD co-principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang'ula have maintained that Jubilee's push to change the electoral law is part of a plot to rig the polls by making it easy for underage and ghost voters to participate in the elections.

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