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IEBC set to rule on Ekuru Aukot's referendum proposal
Erick Kombo Ndubi|July. 10, 2019
- The Punguza Mzigo signatures have already been verified by electoral commission
- Currently the commission is reviewing the collected data and the exercise will be complete in two weeks
- Once the bill is approved by IEBC, it will only need backing of at least 24 county assemblies
- Majority of the senators and MCAs have indicated they are ready to support the bill
- Members of the National Assembly have indicated unwillingness to support the initiative
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is set to make a ruling on Thirdway Alliance's Constitution amendment proposal in two weeks time.
The electoral commission will conclude review of data captured from 1.4 million Punguza Mizigo signatures that were collected by party leader Ekuru Aukot and his team.
Aukot submitted the signatures to the commission in February, 21, 2019, and verification that started on May 28, 2019, at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) came to a close on June 26.
The verification was undertaken by IEBC’s Referendum Project Implementation Team (RPIT) that included 125 temporary clerks and 24 IEBC supervisors.
The commission's chairman Wafula Chebukati assured Kenyans all was well and his team was committed to conducting the process in a transparent and accountable manner.
“The commission reiterates its commitment to conducting this process in a transparent and accountable manner within the legal and administrative provisions. It is estimated that the activities will be concluded by July 19, 2019,” Chebukati said in a letter to Thirdway Alliance chairman Miruru Waweru.
“The RPIT and technical support team has now embarked on reviewing the data captured by the clerks for completeness, accuracy and validity before the same is verified against the register of voters,” he said.
Once the bill is approved by IEBC after meeting the required threshold, it will only require the backing of at least 24 counties to propel it to the next crucial stage. But it will be the end of the road for the bill should majority of the county assemblies vote to reject it.
Among other key proposals for amendment include to the number of MPs from 416 to 147, introduction of a one seven-year term for president, scrapping of nominated positions, women representatives and deputy governors.
Thirdway Alliance argues that should the bill pass, the country will save KSh 155 billion in five years by reducing the size of Parliament; KSh 5.6 billion by abolishing the deputy governors' position; and KSh 30 billion by abolishing nominated positions.
Already, ward representatives under County Assemblies Forum (CAF)- a conglomeration of the 47 county assemblies - have vowed to support the bill should it be presented to them.
The bill has a backing of majority of the senators because of its proposal which seeks to elevate Senate to Upper House with veto powers.
However, MPs have vowed to reject it signaling a major political storm during the campaign for or against it.
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