Kenya proposes election law changes amid corruption protests

Kenya’s national assembly wants to give the East African nation’s supreme court more time to settle presidential election disputes and reform the Independent and Electoral and Boundaries Commission to ease concerns of the opposition party that have spurred nationwide protests and left at least five people dead.

The draft proposes to give the supreme court 30 days, up from 14 days, to settle disputes, and remove the commission’s mandate to resolve disputes involving political party nominations, according to a statement by the Clerk of the National Assembly in the Standard newspaper on Saturday. It also proposes a panel to select new members of the boundaries commission. The changes are subject to public comment from July 4 to July 15.

Kenya’s main opposition group, the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy, has staged protests in Nairobi and other cities since April to demand the resignation of officials at the electoral agency over alleged corruption. On Monday, the party threatened to double the frequency of protests within the next two weeks should the government fail to agree to negotiations on electoral reform. Phone calls to Dennis Onyango, spokesman for the coalition, for comment weren’t answered during weekend hours.