News Headlines December 22 2016

Election Law changes passed, cord protests

Jubilee Mps today successfully managed to pass the Electoral Law changes in parliament allowing manual voting and transmission of poll results in the event technology fails in a one sided session that was held in camera at the beginning.
The development came even as Justice George Odunga said that he cannot stop the sittings as he does not know the effect of the laws that will be passed. Odunga indicated that the court cannot adjudicate on the constitutionality or unconstitutionality of a law that is yet to see the light of the day as the amendments passed today will only become law after the President assents to it.When said the court cannot hijack the process. The house was turned into an approval house rather than the debating chamber that is well known for as all the changes sailed through without anyone raising objection. Opposition MPs who had put a spirited fight on Tuesday special sitting were today outmuscled with the government machinery who were determined to pass the changes. Police officers were deployed around and in the National Assembly a head of the special sitting. The opposition Mps alleged that their Jubilee counterparts harassed and intimidated them especially their female colleagues. Senate minority leader Moses Wetangula claimed that Jubilee Mps got into the chambers with guns which they were wielding to the opposition legislators. Wetangula said scores of armed police officers were deployed to parliament including along the corridors of the house and were harassing members of the opposition.

Chebukati and Ole kina nominated to head IEBC by selection panel

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission selection panel has today forwarded the names of lawyers Tukero Ole Kina and Wafula Chebukati to the president for consideration and appointment to head the electoral commission. The two were among the 10 candidates who were eyeing to succeed Isaac Hassan. The nominees now await vetting by Parliament before formal appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The Bernadette Musundi led panel has also forwarded nine names for consideration to serve as the next commissioners who will handle the August 2017 General Election. The nine include Zephania Okeyo Aura, Roseline Kamboka akombe, Abdi Yakub Guliye, henry Kizito Okola, Samuel Kimeu, Paul Kibiwot Kurgat, Boya Molu, Nkatha Maina and Margret Wanjala Mwachaya.
 “Upon completion of the interview process the Selection Panel picked the most suitable and qualified candidates for the positions advertised and recommended the same to the president,” the panel has said. Once he considers the names, the president is expected to forward the names to parliament within seven days for approval.

Gambian President refuses to step down despite defeat in polls

Gambia’s president has reiterated he will not step down despite losing the December 1 election, as West African leaders and Western powers urge him to hand over power peacefully. Yahya Jammeh initially conceded defeat on state television after 22 years in power, but a week later, reversed his position, denouncing the election results and demanding a new vote. “Unless the court decides the case, there will be no inauguration on January 19,” Jammeh said on TuesdayHis political party has lodged a complaint with the Supreme Court to overturn the December 1 vote result.
Last week, Gambian troops took over the Independent Electoral Commission office in the capital, Banjul, and instructed its chairman to leave while barring other employees from entering. Jammeh’s pledge to stay, which broadcast on state television, indicated a hardening of his position. It came a day after President-elect Adama Barrow said he was ready to take office on January 18 – the day Jammeh’s mandate ends.
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