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MPs support report on IEBC after deleting clause

By Wilfred Ayaga | August 26th 2016 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

MPs yesterday approved a report on electoral reforms after striking out a clause stopping party-hopping.

The report by the select committee on electoral reforms had met resistance from the House with the MPs seeking amendment to the party-hopping clause.

And after Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso ruled that an earlier introduced amendment to the clause would stand, the legislators moved to support the report, but vowed to shoot down a similar provision in the Elections Laws (Amendment) Bill, upon which the clause was pegged.

Earlier lobbying by Leader of Majority Aden Duale also helped to rally support for the document after he warned that throwing it out would send the country back to the drawing board on electoral reforms.

"Let reason prevail. Let the wishes of the people prevail," said Mr Duale, during a morning press conference. He told those supporting party-hopping to run as independent candidates.

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"If you are scared of party-hopping, be brave enough to declare that you are running on an independent ticket instead of participating in the primaries," said Duale.

On the floor of the House, MPs were buoyant that they had defied their party principals and deleted the provision.

"I hope the issue of party-hopping will be removed during the legislative process. We might have corrected the issue of party-hopping in the report, but we also need to correct it in the legislation therein," said Abdikadir Aden (Balambala).

"Before you cast any suicidal vote, be very careful. If we don't remove the clause, we are making the leader of political parties dictators in default, because, you are giving them an opportunity to decide who should be elected," said Dalmas Otieno (Rongo).

"The only part we were not happy with is that the people who complained about reforms were not complaining about political parties. You don't know how people feel when they are locked out of parties," said Johanna Ng'eno (Emurua Dikirr).

IEBC joint parliamentary select committee
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