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MPs seek change in law to allow nomination of presidential poll losers to Parliament

KENYA
By Wilfred Ayaga | June 15th 2016
Justice and Legal Affairs committee Chairman Samuel Chepkonga. Two House teams want electoral laws amended to allow political parties to nominate Presidential election losers into Parliament. (PHOTO: COURTESY)

Two House teams want electoral laws amended to allow political parties to nominate Presidential election losers into Parliament.

The Justice and Legal Affairs committee and the Constitutional Oversight Implementation Committee want changes allowing political parties to present their nomination lists to the electoral commission after a general election. This effectively provides a blank cheque for losing candidates to nominate themselves to the August House.

"We are publishing the amendment and it will be ready by Thursday (tomorrow). There is nothing wrong with having losing presidential candidates in the nomination list. We need to be practical in terms of the society that we live in," said Justice and Legal Affairs committee Chairman Samuel Chepkonga (pictured).

The changes will be made to the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2016, currently before the House. 

The proposal came in the wake of demands by the Opposition  that any compromise on the fate of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) must be hammered outside the House.

The IEBC crisis has been partly blamed on the fact that the current law requiring that nomination lists be forwarded to the electoral commission before the election locked CORD leader Raila Odinga, his co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka and Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi out of Parliament. Narc Kenya chairperson Martha Karua also remained in the cold.

"If CORD had been allowed to nominate people to the National Assembly and the Senate, it would have given an opportunity for those who lost the election to play a role in Parliament," said Chepkonga.

"Nothing bars losing (presidential) candidates from being on the nomination list," said Deputy Minority Leader Naomi Shaaban.

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