New Kenya election boss proposed

April 2, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 2 – Former Constitution of Kenya Review Commission member Ahmed Isaak Hassan says he is up to the task, if Parliament approves his selection as chairman of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission.

Speaking shortly after his nomination by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitution Review on Thursday, Mr Hassan said he would not let Kenyans down.

“I am very happy about my nomination… I look forward to being engaged by Parliament. Until that time I have no other comments to make,” the Nairobi lawyer stated.

Mr Hassan, 39, has practiced law since 1995 and is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Law from the University of Nairobi and a Post Graduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law.

Others who had been considered for the position 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.

Human Rights lawyer Pheroze Nowrojee withdrew from the race at the last minute citing his close relations with Cabinet Minister James Orengo. Mr Nowrojee expressed fears that his nomination may be rejected by Parliament, just like that of Cecil Miller whose close ties with Assistant Minister Danson Mungatana cost him the job.

Addressing the press after the selection of Mr Hassan, PSC Chairman Adbikadir Mohammed said the 27-member committee was impressed by his qualification hence his nomination.

To be considered for the post of commissioner, one must have a degree from a recognised university and must be of high moral character and integrity. One should also be qualified to be a High Court Judge.

“I’m glad to say the committee unanimously approved his nomination. We did not have to vote on it,” Mr Mohammed told the press after the PSC meeting at County Hall.

The PSC chairman is now expected to present Mr Hassan’s name to Parliament together with eight other members of the nine-member commission, one from each of the country’s provinces.

He expressed optimism that Parliament would approve the new list.

“These nominees meet the requirements in terms of bringing the country together. I’m sure that the PSC will speak with one voice when Parlimaent debates the list.”

Other nominated members include Tiyah Galgalo (Eastern), Hamara Ibrahim Adan (North Eastern), Kenneth Nyaundi (Nyanza), Dr Yusuf Nzibo (Nairobi), Winfred Waceke Guchu (Central), Davis Chirchir (Rift Valley) and  Abiud Wekesa (Western).

The IIEC shall be responsible for the reform of Kenya’s electoral process and the management of elections in order to institutionalise free and fair polls.

They will also be mandated to establish an efficient and effective secretariat and conduct a fresh registration of voters, as well as the creation of a new voters’ register.


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