John Mbadi ODM hints at changing elections date for repeat presidential polls from Oct 26

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Our party will only go by what Raila Odinga will say.

play IEBC chair, Wafula Chebukati, Chief Justice David Maraga and NASA presidential candidate, Raila Odinga. (Courtesy)

Orange Democratic Movement party chairman and Suba MP John Mbadi on Thursday hinted at a possibility of forcing a change of date for the repeat presidential election.

Mr Mbadi claimed that the October 26 date set by IEBC may not be possible to hold elections, owing to the pending reforms at the Wafula Chebukati led commission.

On Thursday, Mr Mbadi told journalists at a press conference in Nairobi that due to the successful tabling of Elections Reforms Bill 2017 in the National Assembly by Majority leader Aden Duale, the course for reforms at the polls team was altered, meaning the elections may not be held on the announced date.

READ: Raila explains why he has not been campaigning

He has said that Raila Odinga is set to announce a new date and consult with the IEBC on the possibilities of holding the elections on that date, but failed to give more information.

The Aden Duale sponsored motion, which sought to trim the powers of the commission’s chairman, bring reforms in the election results transmission in presidential elections, prompted the collapse of talks between Nasa, Jubilee and the IEBC at the Bomas of Kenya on Thursday.

“We will only go to the polls on the date our leader Raila Odinga will say. IEBC should be told that we want urgent reforms before we can go for polls," Mr Mbadi said.

The bill pricked the Opposition lawmakers as they are opposed to the provision which is seeking to provide for President Uhuru Kenyatta to be declared the winner in the October 26 repeat elections if Nasa flagbearer Raila Odinga indeed fails to take part in the repeat poll.

However, the hurdle that remains is whether Mr Odinga will officially write and notify the IEBC , on his intention not to take part in the repeat polls. Mr Odinga has on various occasions demanded an overhaul of the entire IEBC team.

play NASA leaders Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi and Suba South MP John Mbadi earlier. (Courtesy)

 

The hope to have the repeat polls within 60 days as ordered by the Supreme Court went even under after the consultative meeting organised by IEBC to "iron out the compelling issues" failed to reach a consensus on Thursday. Nasa leaders stormed out of the meeting protesting a move to change the presidential elections laws by the National Assembly "in the midst of the match".

IEBC Chairman Mr Wafula Chebukati, however, maintained that the repeat elections will be conducted as announced by the Commission after shifting the date from October 17 to October 26, a move Nasa has expressed disquiet in.

“The elections must be held within 60 days. No question about that. It is in the Constitution,” Mr Chebukati maintained in a press conference on Thursday at the Bomas of Kenya.

He added: “If you look at some concerns on the agenda, we can sort it out. Like the issue of observers and agents.”

The sentiments by Mr Mbadi comes in the wake of Nasa’s push for the implementation of what is fondly referred to as ‘irreducible minimums’ set by the Raila’s camp. Among other rafts of reforms, Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga wants the tender awarded to the ballot printing firm Al Ghurair be revoked, kick out IEBC's Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba and 11 other key officials at the commission.

The new demands, however, have been received with mixed signals from across the political divide, with Jubilee party claiming that the move by Mr Odinga is an intimidation to the “independent Commission, which should be left to do its work as required by the constitution.”

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