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Reprieve for Raila on poll rule

Cord leader Raila Odinga could get clearance when MPs hold special sittings on Tuesday to discuss the law on election financing.

Mr Odinga will be among the beneficiaries of a change to the law restricting campaign funding that has caused confusion among politicians.

He was among the aspirants who failed to file their financial information with the electoral commission by last Friday.

His party on Wednesday went to court to challenge the law.

Now, with the National Assembly set to hold special sittings on Tuesday morning and afternoon, he and other politicians who failed to meet the deadline are likely to be let off the hook when the law is changed.

Also likely to benefit are MPs and aspirants who do not have university degrees.

Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Samuel Chepkong’a told the Nation that he would introduce a change to the Election Campaign Financing Act so that candidates submit information on their campaign funds close to the election.

“It is not possible to ask aspirants to file. It is intended for candidates. So we are going to alter that clause to state that the candidates will be required to file their returns two months before a General Election, not eight months,” Mr Chepkong’a said.

Currently, the requirement is imposed on candidates, but then states that the information should be filed eight months to the elections.

Usually, candidates are picked after nominations.

Mr Chepkong’a said the change would be made through the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill currently before the House.

PENDING TASKS

The House is also set to approve the Election Campaign Financing Regulations.

The Bill deals with matters to do with elections stated in various laws.

Before the MPs’ break, those available changed the Election Act to require that Senate or National Assembly aspirants be required to have a university degree.

MCAs would be required to have at least a diploma, and from 2022, a university degree.

But the leadership has buckled under pressure from the MPs opposed to the provision, and Majority Leader Aden Duale is understood to be prepared to propose a reversal of that change to spare the affected ones.

MPs have also been asked to interrupt their Christmas break for a day to consider the Budget Policy Statement, which has been under consideration by the various departmental committees for three weeks.

They will also decide whether to approve or reject President Kenyatta’s nominees to the National Climate Change Council.

Parties are also expected to have finished nominating the two members of the Commission on Revenue Allocation.

The lawmakers are also expected to conclude debate on a report on the ownership of Mombasa Cement land in Kilifi.

The Lands committee has recommended the investigation of National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri.

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