August election to remain as MPs fail to pass Bill

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Kenyans will still go to the polls in August after a bid to move elections date to December flopped yesterday.

MPs failed to raise the requisite numbers to push the date of election from second Tuesday of August of every fifth year to the third Monday of December every fifth year.

The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2018, sponsored by Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa needed the backing of at least 233 members but only 187 were present in the House.

“The records show we have only managed to raise 172 members electronically and 15 manually bringing the total to 187 which essentially means that the bill has been defeated,” Speaker Justin Muturi.

Leader of majority Aden Duale, even as he lauded Wamalwa’s efforts, said he would have voted against the amendment as it affects the president’s term.

Wamalwa (pictured) proposed that the Constitution be amended to reduce the threshold for such amendments to two thirds on grounds that it is not achievable.

“I have not been sleeping, raising 187 members is no joke. Over the past few days I have been doing a lot of research and think it is the high time we revisited this rule,” he said.

Apart from Wamalwa, the bill had received backing from Justice and Legal Affairs committee chaired by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo.

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This is the second time that the House is rejecting such a bill as in the last Parliament, members rejected a similar one by former Ugenya MP David Ochieng.

The bill was introduced in March on grounds that changing the election date would honour Kenya’s unique circumstances and traditions.

Wamalwa’s reasons were that Examination of the school calender is going to be tampered with August date and also that those from western county circumcise their boys during the August season. He received support from members who claimed those who come from cattle rearing areas are not home in august but they are around in December because there are rains.

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