IEBC fresh poll talks with NASA, Jubilee collapse
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) talks with National Super Alliance (NASA) and Jubilee representatives have collapsed after NASA leaders walked out of the meeting after Jubilee MPS successfully made amendments to the Elections Act.
Speaking after the closed door meeting,Siaya Senator James Orengo termed the talks as an exercise in futility and accused his Jubilee counterparts of developing a hardline stance on the matter.
” This meeting with IEBC doesn’t make any sense and the chairman of the commission also feels the same way. The rules of the game should be fair,justifiable and agreed by all players but as it stands the meeting doesn’t make much sense because Jubilee Party is arrogant,” Orengo said.
Orengo lashed at Jubilee allied lawmakers for amending the law governing elections saying that they are reversing the gains of the constitution.
“We shall leave Jubilee to do whatever they wish and want, but they should be held responsible for what happens thereafter.They want to amend the law to make sure that manual results supersedes electronically transmitted results.They’re also amending the law that required that chairman of the IEBC be an advocate of the High Court similarly they are also are amending the law to sanitise parts of the Electoral Offences Act that outlawed the use of State resources.” Orengo said.
However in a quick rejoinder Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki accused NASA of issuing the commission with demands aimed at derailing preparations for the repeat presidential election.
“This country doesn’t belong to one group of people. NASA should not bulldoze agendas at the meeting,we shall not allow that.NASA’s demands are meant to ensure that the election do not happen in Kenya while we are only demanding that the election must go ahead as scheduled.” Kindiki said.
His sentiments were echoed by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen who said that NASA is not ready for the elections noting that the opposition issued the commission with 17 fresh demands it wants met ahead of the poll.
” NASA is not keen on engaging us on a meeting they are using the amendment of the Elections Act act as a smokescreen. The Bill amending the Elections Act does not in any way change the transmission of results. We are just providing a mechanism for alternative transmission,” Murkomen said.
IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati acknowledged that the talks with NASA and Jubilee had stalled but re-assured Kenyans that the commission will conduct an election on October 26.
“Today, we met Jubilee and NASA representatives but we did not make any meaningful progress in the talks because of the bill in parliament but I assure you that we will have elections on October 26,” Chebukati said.
He however called on NASA and Jubilee to re-consider and come back to the negotiating table saying that the commission will not relent in its bid to ensure that the two sides agree on contentious issues before the repeat presidential election.
This is the second IEBC meeting with representatives of the repeat presidential election front runners after the first one was adjourned on Wednesday.