The Leader of the Opposition, Hon Wafula Ogutu, has raised concern over the current status of the Electoral Commission whose independence he challenged.
Speaking in the house during the debate on the Constitution Amendment Bill, Wafula said that the Electoral Commission was no longer credible in the eyes of the public.
“We are tired of elections that are not free and fair. Why doesn’t government accord the Electoral Commission autonomy? Why don’t you listen to the views of the people?” he asked.
Hon. Wafula Oguttu emphasized that the Opposition is committed to seeing a peaceful transition of power in the forthcoming general elections.
Some legislators called for amendment to the method of appointment of the electoral body, challenging the proposed amendment that only seeks to change the Electoral Commission into the Independent Electoral Commission.
Hon. Christine Bako Abia the Woman Member for Arua District stressed the need to overhaul the Electoral Commission.
“The Commissioners are handpicked by the President. They operate under duress to please the appointing authority. There is a mix up between the Executive and the legislature, these two should act independently,” she stressed.
The Attorney General Hon. Freddie Ruhindi reiterated the need for the independence of the Electoral Commission.
He argued that the Commission should be as independent as provided in Article 62 of the Constitution which states that “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Commission shall be independent and shall, in the performance of its functions, not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.”
Meanwhile, Parliament is set to sit throughout the week in order to conclude the bulk of business before it ahead of recess.
The Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah announced that the house will hold sittings every working day of the week to handle proposals for amendments to the Constitution.