Showdown Looming In Parliament As State Seeks To Ban Livestreaming Of Presidential Results

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto pose for a photo after they were declared winners of the 2017 presidential poll by IEBC [Photo/Courtesy]

A showdown is looming in the National Assembly as members are expected to debate a new Bill that seeks to ban live-streaming of presidential election results.

The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022, sponsored by the state was introduced to the House by Majority Leader Amos Kimunya.

The government is seeking to amend the law to pave way for both manual and electronic transmission of the poll results in the August 9 General Election.

Under the current law, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is required to provide information and establish a mechanism for the live streaming of results as announced at the polling stations.

Read: Kipsengeret Koros Injured As MPs Engage in Fist Fight Over Parties Bill

Further, the commission is under obligation to use the results announced at the polling station and transmitted electronically to the national tallying centre.

In the proposed law, president officers would be required to take a photo of the results declared at the polling station and transmit the image electronically to the national tallying centre. The officers would also be required to physically deliver the results to the constituency tallying centre.

A constituency returning officer is then required to tally the results and transmit them electronically to the national tallying centre.

“The constituency returning officer shall collate the results in the prescribed form – Form 34B – and deliver the results in person from the polling station to the national tallying centre, together with the collated form,” the Bill reads.

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The proposed law also seeks to compel IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati to only declare the presidential results after receiving results from all the 290 constituencies.

The current law allows the IEBC boss to declare the results if the remaining results won’t affect the overall tally.

The proposed law also seeks to, among others, allow candidates to use their popular name ‘nickname’ on the ballot.

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Already, the Bill has sparked a debate over the motive of the state in terms of the timing of the proposed amendments.

Yesterday, MPs allied to Deputy President William Ruto shot down Kimunya’s proposal to reduce the publication period of the Bill to five days from the usual 14 days.

This comes weeks after the DP’s allies and their counterparts allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga locked horns over the controversial Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The Bill sailed through despite a spirited fight by the DP’s hustler camp.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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