Members of Parliament allied to The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will not back the controversial Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022, brought before the House by their Jubilee counterparts.
The Bill seeks to, among other things, stop media houses and other online portals from streaming live the 2022 provisional elections results. It also seeks to revert to manual tallying of electoral results.
National Assembly Minority Whip and ODM stalwart, Junet Mohamed, castigated the move terming the manual system of vote tallying as one prone to errors and that by going to that direction, the country would be reneging on technological advancements already made.
“We are not supporting the Elections (Amendment) Bill that is taking us back to the manual system of tallying which is open to manipulation and errors. The country has invested heavily in electronic systems. We can only improve on it but not revert to the manual,” stated Junet through his social media platforms.
From left: Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho (left), ODM leader Raila Odinga (centre) and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed (right) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in November 2021
Junet, who is a proponent of the Azimio La Umoja – a coalition between Jubilee and ODM, made the statement even as National Assembly Leader of Majority and Kipipiri MP, Amos Kimunya, made it clear that the amendments were originating from the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ruling party.
Other than stopping live streaming of the provisional results, the Bill also seeks to quash a requirement necessitating the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from availing polling station results on an online portal.
It also seeks to include a provision requiring the IEBC chairman to only declare the winner of the presidential election once results from all the constituencies have been tallied.
The Bill has caused an uproar with MPs allied to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), a party associated with Deputy President William Ruto, terming it as a retrogressive move that backtracks on the democratic gains realised by the country.
Deputy President William Ruto led the onslaught, terming the Bill as a scheme to install a “puppet President”
“The never-ending onslaught through election law amendments is a choreographed attempt to install a puppet on the Kenyan electorate and sabotage our freedom of choice and hard-earned democracy. The plan is evil and must fail. The people have resoundingly said HATUPANGWINGWI,” said the Deputy President on his social platforms.
His Kenya Kwanza ally, Musalia Mudavadi, also weighed in on the Bill, terming the move as unacceptable and suspicious.
“The proposed amendments seek to pave way for both manual and electronic transmission of presidential results in the August 9 general election and bar the media from live transmission of the election results. Why now?” Mudavadi said.
Parliament resumes its sittings on Tuesday next week with the Bill set to be among the agenda.
Deputy President William Ruto together with ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi at a rally in Kirinyaga County on January 29, 2022.