Uhuru defends election laws amendments

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto when they met Jubilee Party women leaders at State House, Nairobi. [Samuel Miring'u, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has defended the decision to amend election laws over the annulment of the August 8 presidential poll.

President Kenyatta said the proposed changes will adequately address concerns raised by the Supreme Court during the petition filed by the National Super Alliance (NASA) challenging the election results that gave Uhuru a win over the Opposition’s Raila Odinga.

“Members of Parliament should speed up the process that will ensure all the issues are addressed so that we can hold an election where there will be no doubt who the winner will be,” said Uhuru.

An ad hoc select committee has already been formed by the National Assembly and has until October 10 to submit a report on the Election Offences (Amendment) Bill and the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill.

The changes touch on making the manual tallying and transmission of results superior to the electronic system and holding presiding and returning officers accountable if they fail to sign or complete the forms or who knowingly submit an incomplete document.

There is also a proposal to ensure the will of the people precedes any other before the court.

Presidential rerun

The President said the foundation of Kenya is in its citizens and that their decisions should be respected.

“You cannot use a form to change the decision of the Kenyans. All power emanates from the people and no one should be able to change the people’s decision,” he said during a meeting with women leaders at State House, Nairobi, yesterday.

He said the proposed changes were to the benefit of the Opposition who have said the results were rigged and computer-generated.

“Because he (Raila Odinga) said we stole the election using computers, surely will this not help him?” he asked.   

He also criticised the Opposition for threatening to boycott the presidential rerun slated for October 26, 2017.

NASA has maintained that it will not participate in the election without major reforms to the national electoral commission including resignation of CEO Ezra Chiloba.

The Supreme Court last month annulled the Presidential results ruling that the electoral board committed “irregularities and illegalities”.

Uhuru challenged the Opposition to accept the full decision of the court, which ordered a fresh vote to be held in 60 days.