Publish BBI signatures, embrace mail voting, Elog asks IEBC - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Publish BBI signatures, embrace mail voting, Elog asks IEBC

 

Poll experts want the IEBC to embrace electronic and postal voting as innovative and alternative ways of allowing Kenyans to participate in elections besides casting their lots in person.

The Election Observer Group (Elog) says this would go a long way to helping efforts to reduce the spread of Covid-19 during voting.

The experts further want the IEBC to disclose or publish the list of those said to have supported the bill to amend the Constitution in the Building Bridges Initiative.

Elog has also asked the commission to verify that the version of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that was presented by the BBI secretariat alongside the signatures is the same that Kenyans signed for.

In a statement by Elog steering committee chair Regina Opondo and National Coordinator Mulle Musau, the team is concerned that there is yet to be enacted, a stand-alone law to regulate the conduct of a referendum.

The experts say that Article 257 of the Constitution and the Elections Act are insufficient, hence wants Parliament to fast-track the harmonization of the referendum bills.

The bills have been harmonised by the Justice and Legal Affairs committee as well Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee of the National Assembly.

The two committees are expected to report to the plenary its recommendations on the two bills which seek to guide the anticipated plebiscite.

It also decried the delayed passage of the Political Primaries Bill, Elections Campaign Finance Bill, and Representation of Special Interest Groups Bill.

“That all changes to the legal framework should be completed by August 2021 to avoid last minute changes. This will allow all election actors to plan appropriately,” Elog said.

Elog also asked the BBI secretariat to publish the Bridges report and the accompanying legislative proposals to allow Kenyans understand the documents.

“Clear timelines for the referendum process should be developed and consensus arrived at and adhered to so that the country is able to move on,” the experts said.

“The country appears to be anxious about the BBI processes and therefore a termination to this process is vital,” the statement reads.

Elog attracts members from civil society organizations and faith-based national organizations. The group has observed polls in Kenya for 10 years.

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