|Parliament begins debate on electoral laws|
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 14:24
The two wings of the Grand Coalition Government sent out a message of common purpose when Parliament started debate on a Bill laying foundation for credible elections next year.
MPs also recommended a raft of amendments to the Bill to make it more effective when it becomes law. Legislators called for stiffer penalties for electoral officers who commit electoral offences.
They suggested different jail terms for officers who mess the electoral process. They said it was imperative that those who join the new electoral body are aware of the consequences that come with it so that they do not mess up the process.
In what could be seen as a sign of shared vision, Lands Minister James Orengo, who is from Orange Democratic Movement, seconded the Bill moved by Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo, allied to the PNU side of Government.
Their unity was also symbolic as they were also part of the representatives of ODM and PNU during the peace talks brokered by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan after the bungled elections.
Members were also reminded of the troubles the country went through following the disputed presidential elections of 2007, as they embarked on the task of scrutinising Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission Bill.
The commission would first create 80 new constituencies before preparing for the first General Election under the new Constitution promulgated last August.
The first elections under this Constitution are expected to be challenging and more demanding since they would be six elections in one.
An attempt to stall debate on the Bill was thwarted by Speaker Kenneth Marende when he ruled Parliament would discuss the proposed law despite protests from a member of a parliamentary committee.
Marende overruled PNU nominated MP George Nyamweya, who sits in the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, who wanted to block debate on the Bill on grounds that the committee did not scrutinise the Bill because of an internal row over its leadership.
Nyamweya and some members of the committee had been pushing to oust Budalang
|Last Updated on Thursday, 28 April 2011 01:51|