The National Assembly will this afternoon vote on a proposal to change the date of the General Election. A Bill by Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa seeks to move the poll date from the second Tuesday of August every fifth year to the third Monday of December.

Yesterday, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi told the 349 MPs to carry their voting cards because the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2018 required the backing of at least two-thirds of the House (233 MPs).

“The Second Reading of the Bill requires two-thirds of members in the National Assembly voting in the affirmative as contemplated under Article 256 of the Constitution,” he said. Carry cards “I, therefore, wish to remind all those desiring to vote on the Bill tomorrow to carry their cards to facilitate this process.”

The Justice and Legal Affairs committee chaired by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo has backed the proposal, citing public participation conducted across the country.

The report shows that 71 percent of Kenyans who appeared before the committee supported the Bill. In the report, proponents of the change of date said the December election date would be less disruptive to the academic calendar for secondary and primary schools. They noted the August date inconvenienced students because most public schools were used as polling stations.

The committee argued that pushing the date to December would improve voter turn-out as this fell during the long holiday. The team also noted that unlike August, which is wet, December had favorable weather. But those against the amendment told the committee that the academic calendar could be changed to accommodate the August election while others claimed the politicians were out to extend their stay in office.

Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma, a member of the committee, argued that the December date was changed through a referendum in 2010, and an amendment would require a referendum as it would also extend the President’s term.

Source from Standard digital