Nominee to Kenya electoral body confident

February 17, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 17 – The nominee for the post of chairman of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission Cecil Miller has said that he is up to the task, if Parliament approves his selection.

Mr Miller said despite the enormous task ahead, the experience he gained at the Kriegler Commission of Inquiry where he was the lead counsel would come in handy.

“I think I’m pretty well versed in terms of what supposed to be done based on that experience having worked with the Commission (Kriegler) and also having been with them all over the country when this was going on,” he said at a news conference.

“I have no illusion of the task ahead. In terms of pressure, that is expected when we were applying for this job. I knew it was not going to be easy.”

Mr Miller, 39, was nominated by the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution on Tuesday and said his first task would be to restore the confidence of Kenyans in the country’s electoral system.

“I think the beginning point really is to start gaining the integrity of the new commission. To make sure that people feel that they have an organisation that is representative and professional,” he said and added: “There are a lot of changes that are recommended and I’m hoping to be able to carry out as many of those changes as possible.”

Others who had been considered for the positions were former National Assembly Speaker Francis ole Kaparo, former Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Chairman Maina Kiai and Koki Muli a former Executive Director of the Institute for Education in Democracy.

If Parliament approves the PSC’s choice, Mr Miller would be probably the youngest person who has ever held the chairmanship position.

Mr Miller said that he was excited to be one of the young people to get such an esteemed position.

“It’s a good sign and also good message. It’s time that the young ones amongst us move on to do as much as we can. The future belongs to us and our children,” he said.

Mr Miller runs a private practice in Nairobi and is the son of one-time Chief Justice the late Cecil Miller.  He holds a Masters degree in law degree from Kings College in London.

The PSC was expected to meet later on Tuesday to shortlist the eight other members of the nine-man commission, one from each of the provinces.

A lot of them are issues of computerisation, returning officers working for three non stop, which is impossible.

The IIEC was created following the recommendations of the Independent Review Commission, headed by Justice Kriegler which called for the disbandment of the disgraced Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) which was headed by Samuel Kivuitu.

Mr Kivuitu and his 21 commissioners were hounded out of office immediately after Parliament passed a law dissolving ECK and replacing it with IIEC.

However, Mr Kivuitu and his team have moved and obtained orders from the High Court barring their dissolution.

On Tuesday, the Cabinet approved a send-off package for ECK commissioners and other staff.


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