Uhuru assents to manual back up law

Controversial legislation now cast in stone

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President Uhuru Kenyatta signs the election laws that allows use of manual back-up in the August poll at State House, Monday, December 9. PHOTO: PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday, January 9, signed into law the controversial Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2016, at State House, Nairobi.

He has now effectively allowed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to put in place manual backup systems to be used for voter identification and relaying of poll results in cases where the electronic ones fail during the General Election scheduled for August 8.

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Jubilee once again took advantage of its numbers as the Senate rubber stamped on Thursday, the laws authored and passed by Parliament even as the Opposition threatened to call for mass action.

Statehouse spokesman Manoah Esipisu said the President singed the bill following the approval by a majority of Senators.

Uhuru KenyattaPresent to witness the election defining moment at Statehouse was Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Majority Leader Aden Duale.

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Solicitor General Njee Muturi and Clerk of the National Assembly Justin N Bundi were also present during the signing.

Leaders associated with the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) argue a manual voting system will create loopholes that would allow nonexistent voters to participate in the looming poll, terming the laws as part of a bigger scheme by the Jubilee government to rig elections.

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The claims have however been rubbished by the Uhuru Kenyatta-led Jubilee administration as well as IEBC.

Commission chair Ezra Chiloba clarified that voters will be identified electronically, that the manual system will only be used in cases where the mandatory former falls short.