Elections observer group calls for Kenya referendum law

The law as it is today does not explain how such popular initiatives should be carried out.

Saturday March 26 2016

Institute For Education in Democracy chief executive Brian Weke (left) and other officials during a press conference March 25, 2016 at their offices in Nairobi. They called for a legal framework to guide popular initiative such as referendums. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

Institute For Education in Democracy chief executive Brian Weke (left) and other officials during a press conference March 25, 2016 at their offices in Nairobi. They called for a legal framework to guide popular initiative such as referendums. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP. 

By ABIUD OCHIENG
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The country needs a legal framework for popular initiatives such as that being advocated for by groups calling for referendum, the Elections Observation Group (Elog) has said.

The law as it is today does not explain how such popular initiatives should be carried out.

Mr Brian Weke, the Elog chairman, on Friday said they were suspecting political mischief given that laws have not been developed since 2010 when the constitution was promulgated.

He said that the institutions charged with the responsibility of coming up with the said legal framework such as the electoral body, Attorney-General’s office, Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament, should start the process to make Article 257 of the constitution operational.

“We also want the electoral body to publish the names in the voter registers so as to facilitate the verification process,” said Mr Weke.

PROPER SYSTEMS

Elog also wants the public to advocate for the development of proper systems governing election processes and procedures rather than call for the replacement of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners and officials.
“Let us focus on key issues in the management of elections, rather than the need to replace individuals,” said Mr Weke.

Mr Weke, who was accompanied by other Elog officials, was speaking at the Elog offices in Nairobi where they presented a report on the Mass Voter Registration (MVR) that took place between February 15, 2016 and March 15, 2016.

The chairman also urged the IEBC to move with speed and carry out the MVR in Kericho and Malindi, which were left out because of the recent by election.

He also called on the IEBC to address challenges it faced in the first voter listing so that the next phase is successful.

Mr Weke said public officials who were mentioned in the “chickengate” scandal and other corruption related claims should be prosecuted without fear of favour.

Elog comprises civil society organisations, faith-based organistions and special interest groups engaged in electoral governance issues.

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