Lawyers want changes to future LSK polls

October 25, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 25 – Lawyers now want future elections for officials of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) conducted in one day via secret ballot.

Speaking as they elected two representatives to the reconstituted Judicial Service Commission (JSC), the advocates argued that a new electoral system would settle the credibility queries that have dogged their body in the past.

“This is a more democratic way of doing it,” said one of the lawyers who did not wish to be quoted.

Previous LSK elections are conducted over a three-month period where ballot papers are mailed to the 8,000 members who fill them and post them back to the LSK Secretariat.

A committee then sorts the ballots and announces the elected officials. This system has however been criticized and marred by claims of manipulation and rigging.

Monday’s election of two representatives to the JSC was managed by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission which conducted the polls in 17 law courts across the country.

“There have been a lot of fraud elections at the LSK. Many times a lot of people don’t get their ballot papers. This is the way to go,” added another advocate.

LSK Secretary Apollo Mboya said the society has already embraced the new system and could use it in its future election.

“Looking at the crowd we are very enthusiastic about it. I think it is a mode of election our members have embraced,” he said.

Thirty four lawyers are contesting for the two posts – one male and one female representative.

“The lawyers are excited that they have for the first time to elect their representatives to the commission,” said Mr Akide.

“I must say I have not heard of any report of vote bribery of any kind or any malpractice and I think the process is credible and is going to give us the right nominees.”

At the Nairobi Law Courts close to 3,000 enthusiastic city advocates endured a long queue to elect their preferred candidates.


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