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Why NASA MP wants election date changed

Benard Ramoka
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Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa at a past event. [Photo/standardmedia.co.ke]

Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa’s Bill seeking to have the election date changed from the second Tuesday of August to the third Monday of December will be debated today (Wednesday) afternoon in Parliament.

The Bill sponsored by the Ford Kenya MP notes that the current election date as provided for in the constitution is inconvenient.

Wamalwa argues that the August date disrupts the country’s key activities, especially the education calendar.

The Ford Kenya MP says it will be better if the general elections are conducted on the third Monday of December and not August.

“As evident in last year’s general election, holding elections in August is disruptive especially to the education calendar,” Wamalwa told journalists at Parliament Buildings on Tuesday.

Wamalwa said that the examination calendar was greatly affected during last year’s repeat presidential election.

He observed that the disruptions caused by the October 26, 2017 repeat poll would have been averted if elections were to be held in December. 

The MP in his Proposed (Amendment) Bill 2018, further argues that the country’s economic activities will be disrupted if elections are held in August.

He argued that the tourism sector is usually at its peak in the month of August, adding that holding elections during the same period creates anxiety thus keeping tourists and investors away.

Wamalwa also argues that the Bill, if passed, will clarify on when the current Parliament term comes to an end.

This is not the first time a Bill seeking to change the election date from August to December is being fronted in Parliament.

In 2015, the then Ugenya lawmaker David Ochieng authored a similar Bill. The Bill, however, hit a snag after failing to get the two-thirds majority support.

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-Benard Ramoka

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