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Kenya debates electoral laws

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Kenya debates electoral laws

Photo: Simon Maina
Photo: Simon Maina

Kenya’s opposition coalition, CORD, has cancelled mass demonstrations planned for Jan. 4. Protestors opposed changes to the electoral law that would allow for manual voter registration, which could allow the deceased to be fraudulently registered. Demonstrations against the changes turned violent in May, leaving at least three dead.

In light of CORD’s protest threats, the Senate Legal Affairs Committee delayed its debate on the amendments until January 4 to allow more time for public input.

In 2007, similar allegations of vote rigging resulted in more than a thousand deaths and 600,000 people being displaced.

CORD will discuss the Committee’s suggestions and announce its next steps on Thursday. The coalition is expected to follow through with legal action restraining the president signing the bill into law. A hearing is set for Jan. 9.

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Law enforcement has already tightened security in Nairobi, sealing off the Senate to protect it from protestors. If the committee fails to suggest changes that eliminate the chance of voter fraud, CORD may escalate tensions once more.

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