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KENYA: Anglican Bishops caution against amending election laws

Kenya's Supreme Court  - EPA

Kenya's Supreme Court - EPA

02/10/2017 12:14

Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Bishops have raised their voice against the proposed amendment of the election laws saying the move will, “…mutilate the constitution and weaken the independence of government institutions.”

In a statement read 27 September by Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, the Church’s 35 bishops called upon politicians to respect the independence of the Supreme Court and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

“We note with deep concern the proposal to amend the constitution as a way of responding to independent decisions made by some of the independent government institutions,” said Archbishop Sapit.

The proposed bill, moved by the Jubilee Party through its majority in the National Assembly is pushing to change election laws using the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2017 which they said will resolve ambiguities before repeat presidential election is held on 26 October.

The National Super Alliance(NASA)members of parliament have on the other hand termed the move as suspicious, mischievous and unnecessary.

The Anglican Bishops also called for the removal of electoral officials who bungled the 8 August elections that saw the Supreme Court nullify the Presidential election results.

“In order to avoid the possibility of another bungled election, IEBC must do everything within its power to cleanse itself and take corrective action, including exclusion of those who failed in their duties during the last elections,” said Ole Sapit.

The Bishops asked the IEBC to regain public trust by being transparent and in constant consultation and communication with the public. They advised IEBC also to listen and address all legitimate concerns raised by the presidential competitors.

Archbishop Sapit also called upon Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga to embrace dialogue to help solve the impasse on the 26 October repeat presidential elections.

“We in the Anglican Church are willing to lead these efforts in collaboration with other religious leaders. We, therefore, urge the presidential candidates for Jubilee and NASA to embrace dialogue in order to save the nation from impending disaster,” he added.

(CISA in Nairobi)

02/10/2017 12:14