KNHCR tells President Kenyatta not to approve changes to election laws

KNHCR Vice Chairman George Morara addresses a press briefing at the commision’s offices in Nairobi on December 24, 2016.UPESI NEWS

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,24TH DEC,2016-The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has urged  President Uhuru Kenyatta not assent to the elections law passed in parliament on Tuesday , but should instead call for dialogue to deal with the  ongoing stalemate over the same.

The Commission’s Vice Chairperson George Morara says President should  consider an all inclusive approach in addressing the concerns raised.

“Again, in the spirit of what has already been suggested by the Catholic Bishops and the IEBC, we urge President Uhuru Kenyatta to immediately call for dialogue involving all stakeholders with a view to building consensus on the disputed issues,” he appealed.

“We propose that the matter be referred back to the bipartisan Joint Parliamentary Select Committee which should be broadened to include other key stakeholders and actors. We urge all actors and Kenyans to embrace dialogue and desist from utterance and actions that could polarise the country further.”

He cautioned that the current standoff that has led to the Opposition calling for mass action starting January 4 could easily lead the country into a crisis.

Addressing journalists on Saturday, Morara urged both the Jubilee Government and CORD to put the interests of the country first, in a bid to avoid taking Kenyans back to the dark days of 2007-2008, where more than 1,000 people were killed and 600,000 others internally displaced.

“The move is likely to throw the country into a possible crisis similar to the one that was witnessed earlier,” he pointed out.

KNCHR also want the Senate to suspend any debate on the amendments on the Election (Amendment) Bill as passed by the National Assembly.

“The Commission calls on the Senate to suspend debate on the controversial amendments to allow for the building of a broader consensus on the same. In the event that the Senate passes the bill, we join the Catholic Bishops in calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta not to sign into law controversial bill,” he asserted.

On the attacks against the Judiciary, the commission warned National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale of facing sanctions “for violating the leadership and integrity requirements of Chapter 6 of the Constitution.”

“Attacks on the Judiciary especially by the Executive or the Legislature offends the constitutional principle of separation of powers between the three Arms of Government.”

Chief Justice David Maraga has since asserted that that judges must be allowed to discharge their duties independently even when controversies and disputes arise.

He made the statement after Duale criticized High Court Judge George Odunga over some of his rulings.

 

The Commission has also expressed concerns on the latest ‘attacks’ on IFES, an NGO accused of allegedly operating in the country illegally.

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