In Kenya, a controversial amendment to the electoral law is now before the Senate. The bill would give the electoral commission a workaround if biometric voting equipment fails, but the opposition has rejected the change for fear of voter fraud. But as political temperatures rise ahead of next year’s polls, Senate members are advising caution and careful consideration. The Senate did not vote on the amendment to the electoral law Wednesday. Instead, Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro sent the bill to committee. “The standing committee on legal affairs and human rights must, therefore, proceed with dispatch and be ready to table its report on 4 January 2017 when the Senate is expected to assemble for the special sitting,” Ethuro said.
Wednesday’s proceedings in the Senate were remarkably sober compared to the chaos last week in the lower house. Debate on the bill descended into fistfights on the parliament floor and a walk-out by opposition members before the vote.
The proposed change would allow the electoral commission to manually identify voters and transmit results if biometric voting kits fail, a move the opposition says is one way of rigging the election.
Full Article: Kenya’s Senate Moves Cautiously on Contentious Election Bill.