Lawmakers from Kenya’s governing Jubilee Party have passed a bill to change how future elections are managed ahead of the 26 October presidential re-run.
Opposition MPs had boycotted committee sittings to debate the proposed changes.
The bill, which does not become law until the president signs it, includes these amendments:
anyone challenging an election result in future will have to prove if any irregularities would have altered the outcome lowering the bar set for someone to be appointed head of electoral commission. At the moment they must have at least 15 years distinguished experience as a judge, academic or lawyer. Critics say this may be a way of replacing the current chairperson with someone friendly to the ruling party allowing the electoral commission head to declare a winner in the presidential vote if outstanding uncounted votes won’t make a difference. The ruling party’s push for these controversial changes has been widely criticised by the religious leaders, rights groups, Western diplomats and the electoral commission.
They say the changes come too close to the election date to be implemented.
The Jubilee Party justified its move saying it was to “correct the errors” of the electoral commission, which was found by the Supreme Court to have committed “illegalities and irregularities” when the 8 August poll was annulled.