Kenya Parliament Passes Controversial Amendments to Electoral Laws

The Kenyan parliament has come out to pass an amendment on Wednesday (11th October, 2017) to the country’s election laws saying that if one candidate withdraws from a repeat presidential election, the other one would automatically win which has been heavily criticized by the opposition, whose legislators boycotted the vote.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew from a repeat presidential vote scheduled for 26 October on Tuesday, citing concerns over fairness and transparency. The law must now be signed by the president.

The amendments also provide for fines on election management officials who fail to do their job, the other amendment allows the chairperson of the electoral commission to pronounce a candidate in an election a winner if he or she is convinced the remaining uncounted ballots won’t change the outcome of the election.

The amendment was heavily criticized by the opposition, whose legislators boycotted the vote after its leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday, (October 9) withdrew from a repeat presidential vote scheduled for October 26, citing concerns over fairness and transparency.

Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga were due to face off in a repeat election later this month after the Supreme Court annulled an August ballot – in which president Kenyatta was declared the winner – due to election irregularities and ordered the election to be conducted within 60 days.

ALSO READ: Kenya’s Raila Odinga Withdraws from Presidential Election Rerun.

Sean Musa Carter

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