Majority Leader Aden Duale claims the Opposition is demanding the postponement of voter registration as a ploy to influence the outcome of a hearing on their leader Moses Wetang’ula.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Garissa Township MP said the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) wants to use the imminent voter registration as a weapon to compel the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to rule in favour of the Bungoma Senator.
“Cord’s strategy is to intimidate and discredit the IEBC in the hope that this will prevent the Commission from independently and impartially exercising its mandate with regard to Hon Wetang’ula,” the Jubilee Coalition leader said.
“It is no coincidence that a hyperbolic, alarmist, unfounded and ill-conceived statement bearing falsehoods of this magnitude was released hours after a Cord co-principal, Senator Moses Wetang’ula, appeared before the IEBC pursuant to express orders of the Supreme court arising out of the Court’s finding that Wetang’ula committed election offences.”
On Monday, Cord leaders issued a statement demanding that the planned voter registration scheduled for February 15 to March 15 at 24,618 centres be put on hold until all centres can have the biometric voter registration (BVR) kits.
“This country is likely to be plunged into chaos if this registration is not going to be conducted properly, and it is IEBC that will take responsibility,” ODM chairman John Mbadi, whose party is a member of Cord, told a press conference at party leader Raila Odinga’s Capitol Hill offices in Nairobi.
‘DO WHAT IS RIGHT’
“IEBC needs to come out and do what is right. If they have no equipment or money to conduct this exercise, I would rather they postpone it and get money through supplementary budgetary appropriation. In the absence of that, as a coalition, we can guarantee our supporters that we are not going to wait for elections to be rigged,” he said.
Cord’s beef is that the IEBC plans to use the available 15,000 BVR kits it used ahead of the 2013 General Election, meaning there will be only one kit per ward. The Opposition wants one kit per polling station, arguing this will be convenient to the public.
Mr Duale, however, agreed with Cord that registration should be done at polling stations, but argued that Cord is being sensational since the commission is legally mandated to continuously register voters.
“We ask the Commission to be extra vigilant and eliminate all cases of voting by dead citizens, which has been rampant in some areas.
“We also expect that registration will be based at the polling stations. There is no need for drama about this, because there is no reason to believe that the IEBC is planning to violate expectations founded on the law of the land.”
Cord’s Monday statement also came a day before Senator Wetang’ula appeared before the IEBC to explain why he should not be stricken from the voter roll, having been found guilty of bribing voters in 2013.