Bill to alter election date tabled in Parliament

Kiminini Mp Chris Wamalwa at a past function. He argues that the August date disrupts the country’s crucial activities such as education. [File, Standard]
A Bill to alter election date from August to December has been tabled in the National Assembly.

The Constitution of Kenya (Amendments) (No. 2) Bill, 2018 by Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa is the latest bid by lawmakers to return general elections date to the “more favourable” December.

The Bill seeks to move general elections date from the second Tuesday of August in every fifth year to the third Monday of December.

Mr Wamalwa argues that the August date was unduly disrupting the education calendar and the conduction of national examination in case of either a fresh election or a run off or an invalidation of a Presidential election.

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“The principal objective of the Bill is to amend Articles 101 (1), 136 (2) (a), 177 (1) (a) and 180 (1) of the Constitution of Kenya by changing the existing date for the general election for members of Parliament, the President, member of County Assembly, and the county governors and deputy county governors from second Tuesday of August in every fifth year to third Monday in December in every fifth year,” reads the Bill.

“The amendments seek to restore the tourism high season and the aspirations of a section of Kenya who are not able to get out of their busy schedules to take part in the general elections at their places of preferences,” adds the Bill.

In the last General Election, presidential election protracted until October 26 after the Supreme Court invalidated President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reelection forcing a fresh poll.

Dates for 2017 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) had to be fixed after the polls to avoid any forms of disruptions.

KCSE was conducted from November 6 while KCPE was done between October 30 and November 3.

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There have been similar bids to change the date, with a Bill by former Ugenya MP David Ochieng in failing to fly in 2015.

The Bill did not receive the two-third majority support required for a constitutional amendments.

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