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Atwoli leads calls to postpone elections

Central Organisation of Trade Union (COTU) secretary-general Francis Atwoli has suggested the country’s next general elections, slated for 2022, be postponed by a year.

The workers’ boss, who is also a known powerbroker in the country, argues it will not make sense for the country to head to the polls before the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is passed.

The BBI bill which was set to be debated in Parliament and subjected to a referendum was declared unconstitutional by the High Court.

An appeal on that ruling has since been lodged by the Court of Appeal.

“If they (Court of Appeal) don’t give us a ruling we will move to the Supreme Court and if we still don’t get it we will have to start afresh and we will appeal through our parliamentarians to extend the elections by even one year until we get BBI,” said Atwoli.

The veteran unionist also stressed that the country is not ready for elections before the reforms suggested in the BBI are implemented.

“…If there will be no BBI we will look into an issue of making sure we have BBI before we go for the elections. We want peace in this country as workers. After every five years, the recipient of problems is workers… We will appeal to Kenyans to appeal to Members of Parliament if there is no BBI we will postpone elections until we get BBI. If there will be no BBI there will be no elections. That one I can tell you for free,” said Atwoli.

Among other matters, the BBI vouches for expansion of the executive to include the Prime Minister and his Deputies. It also encourages the devolution of more funds to the counties and wards.