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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bill on "Kenyan Crisis" tabled in the US Senate

A Bill has been tabled in the US Senate to discuss the political standoff in Kenya, with a view of giving America’s position on the crisis.

Initially introduced by Senator Russell Dana ‘Russ’ Feingold from Wisconsin for himself and his colleague John E. Sununu of New Hampshire, the senators now want President George W. Bush to declare his stand on the crisis in Kenya. The senators also say President Bush should support efforts facilitating dialogue.

In addition, the Bill proposes personal sanctions, travel bans and an asset freeze on PNU and ODM leaders and other actors who refuse to engage in meaningful dialogue to end the current crisis. “The US should review its aid to Kenya for the purpose of restricting all non-essential assistance to Kenya unless all parties are able to establish a peaceful political resolution,” the Bill says. This Bill is in the first step of the legislative process. In America, Bills first go to committees that deliberate, investigate, and revise them before they go to general debate. But most Bills never make it out of the committee stage. And sometimes the text of one Bill is incorporated into another.

On January 25, this particular Bill was sent to the foreign relations committee. Co-sponsors of the Bill include probable presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, whose ancestry is traced to Nyanza Province in Kenya. The others are: senators Joseph Biden, Barbara Boxer, Sherrod Brown, Samuel Brownback, Benjamin Cardin, Norm Coleman, Christopher Dodd, Richard Durbin, Charles Hagel, Thomas Harkin, Edward Kennedy, John Kerry, Robert Menéndez and Olympia Snowe. “There should be a thorough and credible independent audit of election results with the possibility, depending on what is discovered, of a re-count or re-tallying of presidential votes or a re-run of presidential election within a specified time period,” the senators stated.

They also urged an end to restrictions on the media and rights of peaceful assembly.

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