Two Cord MPs differ over failed Okoa Kenya referendum

Sunday March 27 2016

Garissa Woman Rep Shukran Gure (Wiper) speaks

Garissa Woman Rep Shukran Gure (Wiper) speaks during the Ijara Constituency education day on March 26, 2016. While Ms Gure blamed IEBC over the failed Okoa Kenya referendum push, Ijara MP Ibrahim Abass (ODM) blamed the Cord secretariat for doing “a shoddy job” when collecting signatures. PHOTO | ABDIMALIK HAJIR | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ABDIMALIK HAJIR
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Two Cord members of Parliament on Saturday differed over the failed Okoa Kenya campaign after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ruled that the sponsors had failed to get the one million signatures necessary to force a referendum.

While Ijara MP Ibrahim Abass (ODM) blamed the Cord secretariat for doing “a shoddy job” in collecting signatures for Okoa Kenya referendum, Garissa Woman Representative Shukran Gure (Wiper) criticised the IEBC, accusing it of favouring the ruling Jubilee coalition by sealing the fate of having referendum.

Mr Abass wondered how Cord expected to win the presidency in the 2017 general elections after having failed to secure a million signatures for the referendum campaign.

“I think my coalition Cord has failed [in] a simple task of collecting signatures with all the resources [made available] to them. I don’t see us securing the presidency during the elections,” said Mr Abass.

OPPOSED CALLS TO DISBAND IEBC

Speaking at Yussuf Haji Girls Secondary School in Masalani during the constituency‘s education day, the Ijara lawmaker at the same time supported the IEBC saying those calling for its disbandment should give it time to do its job.

The MP, who said he will be running on an ODM ticket in the coming elections, said Cord should accept that the secretariat, whose assignment was to collect signatures to pave way for the referendum, failed despite having support from all its members.

“We largely took part in making sure the process is success but it seems the secretariat took the signatures to a kindergarten so that they draw images of cows and other caricatures,” he said.

“I believe it’s time we enact a referendum law that will enable us to know what will happen after having signatures and what IEBC will do with them,” he added.

However, Ms Gure, who was the chief guest at the function, claimed that the IEBC mishandled the last general elections “by denying the coalition victory and were now frustrating the opposition.”

“IEBC has really mishandled these signatures. How can all those signatures be fake?” she asked.