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“Change the act” says Mathira MP

01 March 2012, 12:20 Joel Ngugi

Mathira Member of Parliament engineer Epharim Maina is calling for the amendment of elections act 2011. The law bars contending candidates on any seat from participating in fund raising commonly known as ‘harambee’ 8 months before the elections date, and a candidate who contravenes this will not be cleared to run for any elective post by electoral body.

Maina while referring to that law as “draconian” said that anyone seeking an elective post “should be allowed to participate as this is not corruption since harambees’ are held in public with knowledge of the citizens” and neither can the act of a leader attending fund raising can influence people to vote for him, he cautioned that attending such gathering should not be seen as “vote buying”.

While challenging the act  he cited a scenario whereby a contending leader’s relative gets ill and needs an expensive medical intervention leaving the family with no other option but to fund raise and posed rhetorically “should that vying leader be stopped from contributing to his relatives medical kitty due to this act of parliament?”

Maina promised to seek further guidance and clarification on the law from minister of justice through a ministerial statement saying that once he establishes facts on law from justice minister he might decide to seek help from a constitutional court and possibly a judicial amendment.

However, the act of parliament which is already in force prohibits prospecting leaders from attending fund raising starting April 2012 if the elections are to be held on 17th December 2012.

Disclaimer: News24Kenya encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24Kenya.

- News24Kenya

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