Kenyan Senate Passes Controversial Electoral Law Amendments

NAIROBI (Capital Markets in Africa) – The Kenyan Senate passed contentious amendments to nation’s election laws that the opposition says could aid the ruling party rig a ballot to be held in August.

The amendments to the electoral law provide for a manual mechanism for voter registration and results transmission as a fall-back plan should electronic methods fail. The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy, Kenya’s main political opposition group, says the changes may open the electoral system to abuse by enabling the registration of dead people or under-aged voters.

The proposed changes were approved by the National Assembly last month. CORD, led by ex-Premier Raila Odinga has threatened nationwide street protests should President Uhuru Kenyatta signs the amendments into law.

Kenyatta, 55, is seeking a second term at general polls on Aug. 8. He won the 2013 presidential elections with 50.07 percent of the total followed by Odinga, who got 43.3 percent.

Kenya’s disputed elections in December 2007 triggered two months of ethnic clashes that left at least 1,100 people dead and forced 350,000 people to flee their homes.

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