ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga has set his eyes on a referendum before the end of 2020.
Speaking to NTV’s Kennedy Murithi on Wednesday, August 5, he said that Kenya has a window to conduct a referendum latest December.
He explained that the most important factor to consider was the Covid-19 pandemic which has disrupted many activities.The Building Bridges Initiatives (BBI) Taskforce led by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji (second right) during a sitting with the Senate on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.Simon KiraguKENYANS.CO.KE
“Initially we were thinking that we would be able to do a referendum by July or August but this has not been possible. We are hoping Covid-19 will peak by September and after that, it will start going down in October.
“We will be in a position to do a referendum by the end of November or sometime in December,” he revealed.
The former prime minister added that the government would find a way to conduct the vote without risking the lives of millions of Kenyans.
“There are countries which are involved in balloting. Tanzania is going to hold an election in October and the US in November. We’ll look at what other countries are going to do,” he explained.
In modern history, there is no precedent for a global emergency affecting elections and voting.
Burundi held its General Election in May 2020 in which campaigns were held in disregard of Covid-19 safety measures.
Many analysts had poured water on the possibility of holding a referendum amid the Covid-19, due to the dangers associated with campaigns and voting which are high contact activities.
Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata expressed confidence that the country was in a position to hold the anticipated vote before 2021.
“We still have sufficient time for a referendum this year. The BBI report will soon be out, then the president will give the country direction,” he told a local publication on the phone.
The report was already submitted to President Kenyatta and Odinga for review before its release.
The report is expected to cause a showdown in Parliament following the fall out of senators involving the division of revenue formula.
Senators from Mt Kenya region have pegged support for the BBI report on the adoption of the controversial one man one vote one shilling formula which Odinga has opposed.
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