Kenya’s opposition walked out of talks with the ruling party on Thursday, September 28, 2017 in protest of proposed changes to the country’s electoral law ahead of next month’s repeat election, local media reported.
The proposals by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party could prevent the Supreme Court from annulling future election results because of flaws with the electronic transmission of results as the court did on September 1.
“We cannot be party to a meeting that is changing the rules of the game midstream,” said opposition senator James Orengo, as quoted in The Nation newspaper.
The court nullified the result of the August 8 presidential vote after opposition leader, Raila Odinga, lodged a complaint claiming the computers of the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) were hacked to generate a victory for Mr. Kenyatta.
Mr. Kenyatta has called the decision to throw out the results a “judicial coup”.
New elections are due to be held October 26, but the opposition has threatened a boycott if certain IEBC officials are not replaced.
They also want the company responsible for the electronic voting system replaced.
The two new bills proposed by Mr. Kenyatta’s party stipulate that “when there is a discrepancy between the electronically and manually transmitted results, the manually transmitted results shall prevail.”
“Any failure to transmit or publish the election results in an electronic format will not invalidate the results,” the amendments say.
Addressing a news conference on Thursday, Mr. Odinga called for mass protests next week.
“We have no other option than to take the battle to the people,” he said. (Reuters/NAN)