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EAST AFRICA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY AT NAIROBI

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba

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The East African Legislative Assembly will on Thursday afternoon begin debate on a Bill to establish an election supervising body in the five member states. The regional Parliament of the East African Community is holding its sittings in Nairobi and the Bill is the first bit of legislation to be debated during the two-week session. The Bill proposes the formation of an East African Electoral Commission, which shall conduct presidential and national assembly elections, manage the voters’ registers and appoint poll officers in the five partner states. It, however, states that the partner states “must continue conducting their presidential and parliamentary elections in accordance with their national laws”. The proposed body will be headed by a judge nominated by the Judicial Service Commission, with other members nominated by the public service commissions from citizens who have applied for the positions. The Bill was drafted by Dan Ogola, a Ugandan MP, with the idea of preventing conflict similar to that which followed the 2007 General Election in Kenya. It is cited as part of the assembly’s process to prepare for a political federation, which is the merging of the five partner states into a single unit.

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