The Constitution provides that Parliament shall not confer advantages to itself and any law that grants such an advantage should only come at a later date. Section 34 of the Elections Act which reads thus: “the nomination party lists to be submitted to IEBC before the elections may not contain the name of any presidential or deputy presidential candidate nominated under the Act”. The original bill worked on by the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) had used the stronger term “shall not” but that was watered down by MPs to “may not”. Party lists were meant to be affirmative action for the persons with disabilities, women, youth and marginalised communities in the National and County Assemblies as well as the Senate. The above proposal gravely undermines the principles of affirmative action which the Constitution aims to promote

As the Kenyan public, we read mischief in the manner and speed with which this amendment is being executed. Further, the drive to amend the Political Parties Act to give party leaders rejected by the people at the ballot a chance is a manifestation of narrow self-interests of politicians and at best perpetuation of impunity. Kenyans must rise up against these schemes by Members of Parliament to erode reform as established by the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

KPTJ would also like to remind His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki and the Right Honourable Prime Minister Raila Odinga of the commitments they made on the 27th August 2010 to uphold the Constitution and promote adherence to and respect for the rule of law.

KPTJ wishes to remind the Members of Parliament that the proposed amendment negates the principle of constitutionalism requiring  that all governance matters and actions be limited by the Constitution as opposed to rule by the arbitrary judgment and whims of public officials. We call on the Members of the August House who are reform-oriented to reject this latest scheme to rob Kenyans of the gains made through the Constitution.

We take note that the CIC already termed these amendments as unconstitutional and we hereby support that view. Should the Bill be enacted into law we shall, together with other like-minded organizations and individuals, take legal action in courts of law, so as to uphold, defend and protect the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

In conclusion, these amendments are a manifestation of the absurdity and the lengths to which its proponents are willing to impose bad laws on Kenyans. To this end, we pledge ourselves and call upon all other Kenyans to take responsibility for the new Constitution, resist all attempts at undermining the new Constitution, and speak up and organise against the impunity, injustice and corruption that is perpetrated across this great land.

Signed this Thursday, June 21, 2012, on behalf of Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice,

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Atsango Chesoni – Executive Director,

Kenya Human Rights Commission