By Nelcon Odhiambo
Cord leader Raila Odinga has given the government an eight-day ultimatum to review the controversial electoral law passed last week in the National Assembly. If this is not done, he said, the Opposition will call for nationwide demonstrations.
Mr Odinga said that the January 4, 2017 demonstrations, which Cord leaders called for last week, can only be stopped if Jubilee honours the report prepared and tabled in the National Assembly by the joint select committee on the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission. The committee was chaired by senators Kiraitu Murungi and James Orengo.
"The Opposition has given Jubilee government eight day to sort out the controversial Elections Act and regulations guiding a peaceful and transparent election in 2017. We will not settle for anything less after the days elapse but to lead our supporters to the streets," said Mr Odinga while in Nyamira-Kango, Bondo.
He said the festive season had delayed the onset of the protests over the controversial law but that this would also give Jubilee time to review its position on the law, which provides that the electoral commission can use manual system to identify voters and transmit results if electronic gadgets fail. Mr Odinga has protested that this would give room for dead voters to cast their ballots and other election irregularities.
On Monday, he accused Jubilee of planning a flawed general election that will lead to unnecessary bloodshed.
He also urged senators to engage in a sober debate on the controversial law when it comes up for debate in the Senate tomorrow.
"I hope that senators will engage reason in their debate and put the interest of the common wananchi at heart. We need to negotiate on the electoral laws as a way of uniting the country ahead of the general election," said Mr Odinga. "The Jubilee Coalition has panicked and has resorted to dictatorial rule which includes coercing its MPs to pass laws that will provide a flawed 2017 election. This time I will not let them rig the elections."
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