Referendum needed to change election date, says IEBC
04 June 2015, 18:19
Nairobi - The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commision IEBC says that only a referendum will help change the election date from August 2017 to another date.
According to the IEBC, the next General Election will be held August 8, 2017 in line with the Constitution.
That would mean that the terms in office of the current regime, MPs, Governors and Senators would fall a few months short as a complete five year term would end March 2018.
However, the constitution is clear in what it states on the elections.
" A General Election of members of Parliament shall be held on the second Tuesday in August in every fifth year," something that has already caused jitters among the ruling Jubilee coalition and its supporters as the President will have a lesser term in office than expected.
IEBC chairman Isack Hassan says that his organization is bound by the constitution as regards the election date.
" We will follow the law and that is the Constitution and we will stick by it. Any changes will have to be considered by Kenyans," he added.
If MPs do feel the need to change the date, then it will have to go through a referendum, which the government says it has no time or money for.
" The only way to change the date is via a referendum. MPs will have to vote for it and then it must be sent to Kenyans to decide on its merit," Constitutional Lawyer James Muriu told News24.
" It will depend on how much the President wants the remaining months to make an impression to Kenyans or fulfill his agenda. If he feels the need then Kenyans will vote for the change, or not".
" That said, if he believes he has every chance of winning the next elections, then there is no need for one," he quips.
Thus far, there is yet to be an official stance from State House on the matter. There are currently two referendums on the table, the Okoa Kenya referendum by the opposition CORD coalition and the Pesa Mashinani initiative by Governors but none of the two are seeking a change in the election date.
" I would be surprised if the President pushed for it," Muriu adds. There is no need in my view. Let it play out the way it will," he says.
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