The National Assembly has on Wednesday morning passed a controversial bill to amend electoral laws.
MPs allied to the Jubilee party unanimously passed the seven amendments injected into the bill by the committee chaired by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo after last week's public hearings. Opposition National Super Alliance allied MPs skipped the session.
In the bills, Cheptumo proposes changes that gives the vice-chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission powers to act as chairperson in his absence.
The amendments also allow IEBC to transmit election results both electronically and also deliver them manually to the constituency and national tallying centers.
“The Commission shall verify that the results transmitted under this section are an accurate record of the results tallied, verified and declared at the respective polling stations.” Cheptumo further proposes.
He also proposes: “Where there is a discrepancy between the electronically transmitted and the physically delivered results, the Commission shall verify the results and the result which is an accurate record of the results tallied, verified and declared at the respective polling station shall prevail.”
He also wants IEBC chairman be allowed to declare the winner in a presidential race without having received all results, provided the remaining results would not affect the outcome.
He also proposes that: “The Chairperson may declare a candidate elected as the President before all the constituencies have transmitted their results if the Commission is satisfied the results that have not been received will not affect the result of the election.”
The bills also state that a court shall not invalidate an election on grounds of non-compliance if the the non-compliance would not entirely affect the outcome of the election.
Finally, the bills propose financial penalties of Sh2 million in addition to a five-year jail term to any election officer who is found to have failed to carry out his duty as required.
The bills now await signing by President Uhuru for them to be laws.