CORD co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka (centre) and Moses Wetangula (left), and Siaya Senator James Orengo addressing the press at his (Kalonzo's) Karen home on Thursday, December 29, 2016. [Photo/Courtesy]
CORD co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka (centre) and Moses Wetangula (left), and Siaya Senator James Orengo addressing the press at his (Kalonzo's) Karen home on Thursday, December 29, 2016. [Photo/Courtesy]

Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has announced the suspension of its mass action that was scheduled for January 4, 2017.

Addressing the press at his Karen home on Thursday, CORD co-principal and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka said the decision was reached after consultations within the coalition, with the aim of giving the Senate’s Legal  Affairs Committee time to deliberate on proposed changes to the Election Laws.

“We have announced the suspension of the mass action scheduled for January 4, 2017, to await the Senate debate on the Elections Laws and the outcome,” said the CORD co-principal.

“We plan to have a meeting on the January 5, 2017 to discuss the findings of the Senate committee and announce the next course of action.”

The committee, chaired by Busia Senator and former Attorney General Amos Wako, will hear views from several stakeholders including religious groups, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), civil society and the Communications Authority before determining whether or not to pass any amendments to the law.

The amendments were passed by Jubilee MPs led by National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale, after their CORD counterparts walked out in protest over concerns for their safety.

Among the proposals that the Jubilee MPs want implemented include allowing manual identification of voters and transmission of results in the 2017 General Election, should the electronic systems fail.

CORD has however opposed the proposal saying it is a scheme by Jubilee to enter ghost voters into the register and allow them to vote.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee administration are working with IEBC to reintroduce manual identification of voters so that dead people can resurrect, vote for him then go back to the graves,” CORD leader Raila Odinga said in an interview on Citizen TV.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi who urged the Senate to reject the proposed amendments.

CORD had vowed to hold protests from January 4 to express their opposition to the amendments with Raila Odinga saying no elections would be held if the amendments are adopted.

Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro had directed the Senate’s Legal Affairs Committee to table its findings before the House on January 4, 2017 for debate.

It is highly likely that CORD will resume their planned protests after January 4, should the committee and the Jubilee-dominated Senate pass the amendments.

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