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Jubilee wants IEBC to publish Okoa Kenya signatures

POLITICS
By Roselyne Obala | March 18th 2016
Jubilee MPs led by Adan Duale address a press conference at Parliament on Tuesday 17/03/16 over the Okoa Kenya signatures. PHOTO: BONIFACE OKENDO

NAIROBI: Jubilee leaders want the electoral commission to publish the 1.4 million signatures collected by CORD for the Okoa Kenya campaign.

Led by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, the leaders said they have credible information that the signatures submitted to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) were fictitious.

Mr Duale maintained that the Okoa Kenya initiative to amend the Constitution should not be transmitted to county assemblies after verification by the commission. He cautioned that doing so would not meet the constitutional threshold to establish legality of the signatures.

"We have no problem with the referendum push. We want the exercise to be transparent. During the 2013 General Election, all political parties were given a copy of the voter register. This is what CORD used to come up with the one million plus signatures," Duale said during a press conference at Parliament Buildings yesterday.

"How does IEBC verify the signatures are genuine if not by publishing them in the local dailies with national circulation and the commission's constituencies offices?"

MPs Njoroge Baiya (Githunguri), Dennis Waweru (Dagoretti South) Yusuf Hassan (Kamukunji) Johnson Sakaja (Nominated), Kanini Kega (Kieni) and Joyce Emanikor (Turkana Woman Representative), reiterated Jubilee's stance, saying due diligence must be followed.

"Those purported names must be verified. Getting signatures is very tedious. Suddenly the opposition have 1.4 million signatures. This must be verified," Mr Sakaja said.

Mr Baiya said the threshold for a referendum is very high and must be supported by real Kenyans.

"The exercise is funded by taxpayers' money. It is better to spend funds to verify the signatures than undertake an expensive venture not supported by Kenyans. Kenyans must associate with the bill even if there are gaps to be addressed," he said.

He stressed that IEBC is obligated to publish the names, national identification numbers and signatures to enable the public confirm their participation.

"Kenyans have a right to confirm the details are in order and that they did consent. This must be done before the bill is sent to the county assemblies for consideration and approval. This is a serious demand to IEBC and we will be writing to IEBC officially on Monday to re-affirm the same," Duale said.

"Jubilee is concerned about the exercise especially when CORD failed to submit the signatures to IEBC in soft copy. The hundreds of booklets availed by CORD to the commission were not in good faith. We want to know the physical address of those who signed," he added.

He warned that they would not support duplication of signatures as this amounts to denying Kenyans their democratic right to make informed choices concerning the Constitution.

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