New search for IIEC chairman

February 26, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 26 – The post of Chairman of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission will now be re-advertised after Members of Parliament failed to reach a consensus.

A meeting of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution Review (PSC) hit a deadlock on Thursday over who should replace Cecil Miller, whose name was rejected by Parliament last week.

Chairman Abdikadir Mohamed said the committee had also agreed to drop the names of the Coast representative Suleiman Buko and that of Charles Masinde from Western Province.

“There were three names in contention and the committee has agreed to replace them as recommended by Parliament,” Mr Mohamed told journalists after a PSC meeting at County Hall.

The Committee had tabled a list in Parliament nominating Mr Miller to chair the IIEC while Suleiman Buko, Tiya Galgalo, Hamara Adan, Kenneth Nyaundi, Yusuf Nzibo, Winfred Nguchu, David Chirchir and Charles Masinde were picked to be the other eight members of the committee.

Parliament rejected the list after MPs expressed reservations on the inclusion of the three members, especially the proposed chairman with many arguing against his credibility, experience and political affiliation.

Mr Buko was rejected for having participated in the 2007 December election as a deputy returning officer for Garsen constituency, which is represented by Assistant Minister Danson Mungatana, who is a PSC member.

Concern was raised that Mr Buko did not disclose that he had worked for the ECK in his application or during the interview.

Mr Masinde’s appointment was questioned following assertions that he was an official of New FORD Kenya.

Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale however produced documents in Parliament showing that Masinde had ceased to be a member of the party.  This did not however change the view of MPs.

Following the adjournment of Parliament on Tuesday PSC members resolved not to rush the search for the new electoral team and agreed to take time before taking a new list of nominees to the House.

“We want to have full consensus so as to avoid a scenario where PSC members make an about-turn and reject the report which they had been party to,” Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni stated.

The Committee was due to meet again on Friday to continue discussions on the establishment of the IIEC which is to replace the disbanded Electoral Commission of Kenya.

There has been constitutional concerns over the non-existence of an elections body.  All election petitions have already been put on hold by the courts since there is no official to respond to any issues raised in proceedings.

No by-election can be held in the country if need arose.


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