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Poll observers query missing signatures, ID numbers on Punguza Mizigo petition forms

Ekuru Aukot
Third Way Alliance party's Ekuru Aukot. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

An election monitoring organisation has questioned the authenticity of signatures on the referendum petition submitted to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) by the Ekuru Aukot-led Third Way Alliance party.

The Punguza Mizigo petition seeks to, among others, cut the number of MPs and abolish deputy governors’ position.

Elections Observation Group (ELOG) said Monday it had identified a number of anomalies such as duplication of national identity card numbers, uniformity of significant number of signatures and a lack of signatures repository.

The monitors also observed that some of the forms submitted for verification lacked details such as ID numbers and signatures.

ELOG now wants the IEBC to publish the signatures that it verified for the Punguza Mizigo referendum drive.

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The electoral commission last week said it had verified that 1,222,541 registered voters have supported the proposal unveiled in February by the Third Way Alliance, laying the ground for a referendum.

“The observation we made were only from the few forms that we were allowed to access. It is important to point out that IEBC denied us an opportunity to scrutinise all the forms and verify them,” ELOG national coordinator Mulle Musau told a press briefing yesterday.

“IEBC should publish the list of names in the Kenya Gazette or in any other public medium, in compliance with open data principles, so that those whose details are captured in the forms can confirm that they consented to the petition.”

The election monitoring group reckons the defective signature could surpass the 200,000 quoted by the IEBC.

The Punguza Mizigo wants the number of MPs cut from 416 at the moment to 147 and the positions of deputy governors and women representatives abolished.

It also wants the equitable sharable revenue of counties increased from 15 per cent to 35 per cent of last audited accounts approved by Parliament.

If the party gets its way, Kenya would have a one-off seven-year term President and abolish nominations to both the county assemblies and the Senate.\

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