Parliament yesterday passed into law the Local Government Elections Bill which is one of the bills to facilitate harmonisation of electoral laws in readiness for the 2014 Tripartite Elections.
The passing of the Bill effectively amends the Local Government Elections Act and, among the amendments introduced, are the raising of penalties against the Act from a maximum of K50 000 (about $125) to K500 000 (about $1 250).
The Bill also maintains that the fees the councillors pay to be eligible to compete will continue being non-refundable, a thing that delayed the Bill’s passing as opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) wanted the fee to be refundable.
Earlier, government made a U-turn and withdrew the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (Amendment) Bill after a storm of concerns from the opposition benches, saving the Bill from rejection by a whisker.
The Bill sought to amend the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Act and wanted to introduce amendments such as the extension of the period parties can dispute the election results and the raising of fines for offences against the Act.