ODM deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya photo

ODM deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya says the BBI referendum is no longer tenable due to the harsh economic times caused by Covid-19.

ODM party bosses say there will be no referendum because of the COVID-19 situation in the country.

The deputy Party leader and Kakamega Governor say the allocated budget could be used to mitigate the economic effects in the country.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) projected to spend Sh14 billion if Parliament endorses a proposal by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to hold a referendum on constitutional amendments.

Acting chief executive Murjan Hussein Murjan, however, told Parliament last year that the amount would depend on the number of new voter registrations before the vote.

“We have on our own sat down and asked ourselves the budgetary provisions in the event of a likely referendum.

“We have already figured that the referendum to change the Constitution will cost us Sh14 billion. However, we are still refining the budget,” he told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) during the scrutiny of the commissions’ books of accounts for the year to June 2019.

Mr Murjan said the Sh14 billion budget is based on 19.6 million voters that registered for the 2017 General Election.

“The budget could go up because of the number of registered voters who will, in turn, determine the number of polling stations, polling staff to be hired and other logistics,” he said in response to PAC chairman Opiyo Wandayi.

Garissa Township MP Aden Duale pushed Mr Murjan to state on the record the cost of the expected referendum.

The4 move comes after Migori Governor Okoth Obado renewed his attacks on ODM leader Raila Odinga, vowing to have a new political formation for Nyanza while at the same time rubbishing the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

"Claims that BBI will improve our lives is a very big lie. Life cannot be easy with BBI. We are glad that God has stopped the reggae, " Governor  Okoth Obado says.

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