No elections if laws are changed, Raila warns
Coalition for reforms and democracy (Cord) co-principal Raila Odinga has warned there will be no elections in August next year should Jubilee insist in changing the electoral laws.
Mr Odinga warned that should the Jubilee coalition attempt to use its high numbers in Parliament to change the law, then Kenyans will resort to other means to stop them.
“Kenyans love peace. They have tolerated Jubilee government for long but tolerance has its limits,” he said in Homa Bay during the Luo Cultural Festival.
Mr Odinga said if President Uhuru Kenyatta wanted electoral laws changed, he would have consulted the opposition.
The Opposition was making reference to the determined effort by Jubilee MPs to amend the electoral laws in Parliament on Tuesday.
However, the campaign was frustrated by Opposition MPs.
Among other proposals, the Jubilee MPs sought to change the electoral laws to allow for use of manual means to identify voters, count and transmit results.
But the Opposition objected saying the move will create room for fraud.
“It is an insult for Uhuru to attempt to use his MPs in Parliament to alter laws that were agreed upon after negotiations between the Jubilee and Cord sides,” said Mr Odinga.
Speaking at Lwanda Nyamasaria beach in Mbita during the last day of the Luo cultural festival in Homa Bay, Mr Odinga termed Tuesday’s parliamentary special sitting as illegal.
“Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi did not follow these rules,” he added.
Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga addresses a rally in the town as Cord leader Raila Odinga listens on December 21, 2016. Opposition MPs at the meeting vowed to block proposed changes to election laws. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Mr Odinga expressed dismay that another special sitting had been called on Thursday, again, claiming it was in complete violation of the Standing Orders.
The Opposition chief said he has been a Member of Parliament for over 20 years and has a good understanding of parliamentary rules and procedures.
He said Jubilee’s move to use Parliament to change the electoral laws was frightening because the Legislature was independent.
Mr Odinga claimed that the action by Jubilee MPs was tantamount to putting the county in a state of emergency.
“We will not surrender and will continue to fight for the rights of the people of Kenya,” he said.
Mr Odinga said the Kenyan people deserve a free, fair and transparent election.
While praising opposition MPs for having given a good account of themselves during Tuesday’s chaotic session, he warned the President against threatening Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo with arrest.
An unapologetic Ms Odhiambo on Tuesday fired insults at President Kenyatta at Parliament.
Homa Bay governor Cyprian Awiti entertains a crowd on December 21, 2016. PHOTO | TONY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP
The Opposition chief said the President has previously referred to him as a mad man but has never taken action against him.
“When Millie told him off, he also retorted by branding her as stupid. He also stood before his parent at his backyard and branded me as a mad man but I did not even bother to respond or sue him,” he said.
“I can equally call him names but opted to steer clear because he is not my age mate,” he said.
Also present were Governors Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Josephat Nanok (Turkana), Cornel Rasanga (Siaya) and Jack Ranguma (Kisumu).
Others were ODM National chairman John Mbadi, Senator Moses Kajwang, Homa Bay Woman rep Gladys Wanga, Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) and Joseph Oyugi Magwanga (Kasipul).
Source: Daily Nation