Wafula Chebukati says IEBC ready for referendum

Ruto and Chebukati

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati has announced the poll agency was ready for a referendum in event one was called.

His statement came at the back of increasing referendum debates in the political arena where powerful politicians like Opposition leader Raila Odinga, Deputy President William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta have voiced their stands.

Conversing in Trans Nzoia county on Thursday, December 27, during a walk to raise funds for the protection of endangered Sitatunga antelopes, Chebukati reassured the public IEBC was stable to handle all its constitutional obligations not excluding holding a referendum whenever one came up.

Chebukati said the commission was informed of the debate surrounding the referendum but was categorical the agency would only come in after constitutionally receiving questions and Bill to call for a vote.

He said the commission was not anxious, irrespective of the time a plebiscite would come up saying it was a single vote thus easier to plan.

“I want to assure Kenyans IEBC is ready to conduct a referendum anytime we receive any Bill or questions to go for the ballot. It’s one election hence easy to coordinate unlike General Election where there are six candidates,” he explained.
The IEBC boss, though, said they had not received any questions or Bill from proponents of the plebiscite.

A referendum can be done through popular action where one million signatures of voters are required or through Parliament where a Bill is touching on a review of matters in Article 255 of the Constitution is passed within both houses to the president.

“For now we are just waiting. If it comes, it will be voters who will decide whether it passes or not through voting for or against it. Mine is to assure Kenyans that we are set to go and every vote will count,” Chebukati stated.
Raila, Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) chief Francis Atwoli, FORD Kenya party boss Moses Wetang’ula, Devolution Cabinet Secretary have all expressed need to make amendments to the supreme law to enhance cohesion and boost devolution.

Ruto and his associates, on the other hand, have termed the calls for a referendum a scheme by selfish politicians who want to create positions for themselves.

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