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CORD’s strategy is to cause mayhem in quest for power

Posted by African Press International on May 29, 2016

By Aden Duale
Updated Sunday, May 29th 2016 at 00:00 GMT +3/ the standard news Kenya.

CORD’s strategy to destabilise President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government can be seen in every maneuver they have made in the last couple of months. They had initially banked their hope of ascending to power on the International Criminal Court cases President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto were battling at The Hague.

Their view was that this eventuality would create divisions in Jubilee and then they would pounce on votes in the Rift Valley. However, with the recent collapse of Ruto’s case, their strategy failed.

Now they have hatched a scheme to discredit the electoral commission and the Judiciary. As they do this, they are employing disaffection and protests all with the aim of sowing seeds of discord and causing confusion at a time when the elections are just about a year to go. Yes the Constitution in Article 37 allows protests and demonstrations but they should be conducted peacefully.

CORD is aware that what it is demanding on IEBC is constitutionally impossible. Any reforms on the electoral commission must be effected at least two years before the polls. Steps on how to do this are also unequivocally spelt out. The Opposition leaders are certainly alive to this constitutional fact but just want to put the country on tenterhooks for their selfish political ends.

Duplicity has always defined CORD’s initiatives. Some of their schemes have been proclaimed as national saviours but in reality, they are a ploy to win power by all means. Take for example the Okoa Kenya. Their plan was not to foster devolution as they had stated but build the momentum for the 2017 elections. Their move was informed by the 2005 Banana versus Orange referendum. Then ODM beat the government in the referendum and the successes of that campaign were carried forward to the 2007 polls in which the Opposition posted impressive results. However the elections were marred by deadly chaos. We know what transpired after the mayhem. However, the Okoa Kenya collapsed after hitting a constitutional brick wall. CORD’s secretariat did not help matters as it did so woeful a job of collection of signatures that IEBC threw out. Even with irregularities staring CORD in the face, it refused to acknowledge they had badly bungled their own initiative.

It is also worth noting that some elements within CORD have been seeking postponement of the next polls. Reason? They are ill prepared to face the electorate as they have nothing by way of policies to offer.

Meanwhile, they have been demanding dialogue on subjects that have yet to be defined. All these point to the fact that they are afraid of the elections because they know they will lose.

If indeed they have genuine grievances against the IEBC, how come they are not explicit about them? We do not know whether their problem with the commission is institutional or personal. Do they want the systemic architecture of the commission rectified or they want some or all the commissioners sent packing?

They have said they want independent-minded people, like members of the clergy or even foreigners, to preside over the 2017 polls. Well, case studies reveal this may not necessarily be the panacea of electoral challenges. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Reverend Daniel Ngoy Mulunda chaired the electoral commission for 2011 polls. This did not stop Etienne Tshisekedi from rejecting the results. In Zambia, Lady Justice Irene Mwambilima presided over the 2015 polls in which Edgar Lungu won by 48.3 per cent against Hichilema Hakainde’s 46.7 per cent. The difference in the number of votes was just 100,000 and the opposition rejected the results. However the Zambian people accepted the results and that’s all that mattered.

Indeed another of CORD’s strategy is to always contest closely contested polls however democratic they are. Yet countries like Ghana have had the closest of elections results but the people accepted the outcome out of respect for democratic institutions and processes. For example in 2008 polls, Prof John Atta Mills garnered 4,521,032 votes while his rival Nana Akufo Addo got 4,480,446. The difference was a mere 40,586 but the people of Ghana embraced the results. Again in Ghana’s 2012 presidential elections, Dramani Mahama got 5,574,761 votes while Addo received 5,248,898. The difference was just 325,863 votes.

Having a situation where political parties appoint commissioners does not augur well for democracy either. The IPPG, which the opposition has been quick to hoist as a success story, is in reality a risky adventure. Why? The commissioners pledge loyalty to the parties and not the democratic process. During the announcement of the Zanzibar presidential results in October 2015, the electoral commissioners were divided on the basis of political party affiliations. This is because the team had been selected on political grounds. This is certainly not what we want to see here.

End/ the standard news Kenya.

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