ELOG calls on Parliament to enact pending electoral laws ahead of 2022
An election observer group has petitioned Parliament to move with speed and enact pending electoral laws before 2022.
The Group, Election Observer Group (ELOG) yesterday said it is working on a report to come up with recommendations in the future on solving some of the hitches that have been witnessed in the past.
ELOG says some of the amendments that should be addressed urgently is how to enable independent candidates to stand in future national elections.
“A number of crucial proposals are lying in Parliament and this is an issue of concern to us because time is not standing still.
In order to realise comprehensive and timely electoral reforms Parliament and all the stakeholders should kick-start the discussions and build consensus on necessary electoral reforms,” said the group’s national co-ordinator Mulle Musau.
Currently, there are a number of critical legislative proposals that include the IEBC Amendment Bill, Political Parties Primaries Bill, Elections Campaign Finance Bill, Representation of Special Interest Group Bill and the Referendum Bill.
In the previous election, a number of issues were raised including the current election system and adjudication of electoral disputes.
The other outstanding issue is on the constitution of IEBC where currently the commission is operating with only the chairperson and two other commissioners after four others resigned.
Similarly, Musau also said other reforms including the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitution review report should be released urgently for public scrutiny.
The BBI has recommended that all current commissioners be removed from office to pave the way for the establishment of a new team ahead of 2022 as part of radical changes to transform the poll agency.
However, he noted that it wouldn’t be possible to have a total overhaul of the commission given the limited timeline.
At the same time, ELOG also expressed concerns over the premature 2022 campaigns, calling for action against politicians doing campaigns outside the legal framework and campaign timelines.
“With the next general elections still 22 months away, the country is being subjected to what appears to be early political campaigns full of provocative speeches and utterances that are likely to fuel ethnic tension and violence,” Musau noted.