Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Friday, 13 Jan 2017 13:40 EAT
The opposition is banking on the 30-day registration window recently announced by the independent electoral and boundaries commission IEBC to increase the voter basket in its strongholds. Opposition leaders on Wednesday shelved their planned countrywide street protests to press for bipartisan electoral laws in order to allow their supporters to register en-mass in the exercise scheduled to start on Monday January 16.
If the demonstrations could have been allowed to start after the Wednesday Bomas meeting as it was anticipated, CORD leaders say, areas which have actively taken part in demos such as Nyanza, Nairobi, Mombasa, Western, and Eastern among other isolated places could have witnessed a low turn-out in voter registration.
CORD leader Raila Odinga had announced at Bomas of Kenya, where he and other top opposition leaders met to strategise on the formation of a super alliance, that the protests would be postponed until after the registration exercise. The leaders Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetangula and Musalia Mudavadi endorsed the decision.
President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the amended electoral laws on Monday, just days after the Senate passed them. The National Assembly had passed the amendments a week earlier, triggering an announcement by CORD that it would call for countrywide protests if the Senate passed the laws. The laws had been agreed by by the government and the opposition as a framework for general elections in August. Manual voting back-up has been introduced into the new law to supplement Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) which opposition claim is a plan by Jubilee to rig the elections.
The Bomas meeting brought together opposition elected governors, senators, women representatives, members of parliament and aspirants to determine the coalition's direction on the mass action. Kitui Rural Member of Parliament Charles Mutisya Nyamai told the Kenya Free Press today that the opposition would use the 30 day window to mobilse their voters for mass registration.
“The Mass Voter Registration Phase Two (MVRII) starts on Monday and we want everybody who has an identity card to register as a voter," he said.