Raila outlines Cord’s electoral reform agenda
Cord leader Raila Odinga has said the coalition will seek to entrench major electoral reforms in the constitution if its referendum push succeeds, including giving political parties a greater role in management of elections.
Mr Odinga said the proposed electoral reforms will include political parties having representation in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
“There is clearly a need for parties to appoint representatives to the IEBC with a mandate to be the party’s watchdog within the agreed rules governing elections,” he stated.
Cord, he said, will also push to have results announced by presiding officers at the polling station deemed as final, with the electoral body only providing the national tally.
“There is no rationale whatsoever for IEBC officials sitting in Nairobi to purport to be verifying figures sent to them by its agents at the polling stations. That system has only succeeded in creating more confusion and room to manipulate the will of the voters,” he stated.
Mr Odinga outlined the proposals at a press conference on Wednesday, his first after after returning from a ten day trip to the United States, Mozambique and South Africa.
Cord, he said, will also seek to entrench in the constitution a provision that voter registration, voter identification and transmissions of election results be done electronically.
Cord also wants the constitution amended to provide that IEBC has only one national voter register which shall be published at least 30 days to the general elections.
“We will seek a constitutional provision that the IEBC shall provide any person, at the person’s request, the data or document used in elections within 24 hours of such a request in either electronic or hard copy or both,” he added.
Provision of data within 24 hours, Mr Odinga said, will ensure that a person who wishes to challenge an election outcome has all requisite evidence.
The Cord leader also accused senior government officials of involvement in the grabbing of 134 acres of prime land in Karen, Nairobi.
Mr Odinga singled out Lands Minister Charity Ngilu for allegedly presiding over land grabbing and warned that Cord would push for major constitutional reforms in the lands sector through its planned referendum.
“It is an ironic twist of sorts to arrive here and find the country in the middle of a massive land scam right here in the city that has roped in government officials in a manner that only says that in Kenya, the more things change, the more they remain the same,” he stated.
In a strongly worded statement delivered after returning from his ten day trip to the US, Mozambique and South Africa, Mr Odinga told of individuals who had transformed themselves from “hustlers” to tycoons overnight by grabbing land.
“Land has seen people move from hustler to entrepreneur status without breaking a sweat. As the government makes harambee the official vehicle for development, we can only expect more of this stealing of land, he noted.
Mr Odinga also hit out at Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi for disobeying court orders.
“It is wrong for the Speaker of the National Assembly to say he will not obey court orders yet there is a clear separation of powers between the three arms of government. Members of the Executive can only appear before parliamentary committees and not on the floor of the House to be intimidated by MPs,” he said.