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The National Assembly passed a bill to amend the country’s election laws. The bill requires that a candidate be declared winner if the other candidate withdraws from the repeat presidential election.

The amendments were supported by jubilee party but criticized by the opposition.

This, following the withdrawal of NASA candidate Raila Odinga from the repeat presidential vote to be held on the 26th of October.

The president is then required to sign the bill into law. Uhuru says he will not hesitate.

Parliament passed amendments on the electoral laws yesterday that were introduced to the bill by a committee chaired by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo.

The amendments address the issue pertaining to the withdrawal of a candidate where only two candidates are involved in an election rising from invalidation by the Supreme Court.

They address the issues brought forth by NASA and also roles of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) during the election.

The amendments state that where only one candidate remains after the withdrawal, the remaining one shall be declared as the president elect without any elections being held.

That the Iebc Chairperson declares a candidate as the President before all constituencies transmitted results if the Commission is satisfied the results not received will not affect the final results.

That a court shall not declare an election void if the election was conducted in accordance with the Constitution.

That the financial penalties on election officials who fail to do their job will be doubled from Sh1 million to Sh2 million in addition to a five-year jail term. The changes also require manual result transmission and that electronic transmission be used as backup. Also qualifications of the iebc chair remain those of supreme court judges rank and in the event the iebc chairperson resigns or otherwise a vice chair is given the legal mandate to assume full powers of returning the presidential vote and incase the absence of the chair and vice, other commissioners will elect one of them to serve in acting capacity.

This all in the midst of a withdrawal by the only other candidate on the repeat presidential ballot paper, a high court directive reinstating other candidates to the ballot, and extensive changes to the electoral legal framework.

 

 

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