No Referendum:Cord’s Okoa Kenya drive signatures rejected

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CordCord’s push to change the Constitution collapsed Tuesday after the electoral commission ruled that the sponsors had failed to get the one million signatures necessary to force a referendum.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission declared that only 891,598 signatures out of the 1.6 million submitted by Cord, had been found to be authentic.

“Therefore, the commission wishes to declare that the Okoa Kenya proposal to amend the Constitution initiative has collapsed by operation of the law,” IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan announced in a statement.

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The Constitution can only be changed through a referendum if it is backed by at least one million registered voters.

A proposed constitutional amendment initiative can only be tabled before county assemblies if the IEBC has verified the signatures accompanying the proposed amendment and is satisfied that the amendment initiative is in accordance with the law.

STATE PRESSURE

The statement, coming only a day after Cord leaders accused IEBC of working with Jubilee to undermine the referendum, is likely to infuriate the Opposition even further.

Its leaders, Mr Raila Odinga and Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, had accused the commission of abdicating its role and acting like a State agency.

In a statement read by Mr Musyoka, the Opposition coalition had questioned comments made earlier by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and TNA Chairman Johnson Sakaja that the signatures would be rejected on account that some were not genuine.

Mr Sakaja, a nominated MP, has rejected the claims that Jubilee was working with IEBC.

The IEBC statement was issued after a plenary meeting of commissioners in Nairobi which adopted the report on verification of signatures, an exercise Cord had claimed had taken longer than prescribed in the law.

Had Cord succeeded, Kenyans would have been asked to vote on whether they wanted funding for counties to be increased from 15 to 45 per cent of the total audited and approved national revenue, security to be devolved to counties and the Constituency Development Fund entrenched in the Constitution among other issues.

REJECTED SIGNATURES

Tuesday, the extract of the signatures verification showed that 85,647 names were removed because only ID and passport numbers were given but no signatures.

Another 84,542 names were nullified because there were signatures but no ID or passport numbers.

Fifteen names were declared invalid while 9,556 records were serialised but lacked any other information.

Verifiers removed another 1,205 names because of invalid records such as mistakes in the ID or passport numbers that could not be corrected.

A further 124,601 were invalidated because the records did not match those of the commission’s database.

There were 1,084,901 records matching those of the IEBC, but 356,350 were repeated, causing the verifiers to remove a further 110,529, the statement showed.

In total, the verifiers found that 741,979 of the 1,633,577 submitted to had failed to meet the threshold leaving only 891,598 of the signatures to be valid.

“The analysis of the data presented by the OKOA Kenya popular initiative has shown that the number of valid registered voters supporting the initiative is 891,598. This falls short of the one million registered voters required by law,” Mr Hassan said.

-nation.co.ke

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