Kibaki, Raila settle on Hassan for IEBC

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 25 – President Mwai Kibaki has nominated Ahmed Issack Hassan to chair the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The President and Prime Minister Raila Odinga also settled on eight other Commissioners out of 13 candidates that had been forwarded to him by the IEBC Selection Panel.

The two principals forwarded to House Speaker Kenneth Marende the names of Yusuf Nzibo, Mohammed Alwai Hassan, Abdulahi Sharawe, Lillian Bokeeye, Thomas Letangule, Muthoni Wangai, Albert Sio and Galma Godana as the commissioners.

Hassan beat lawyer Koki Muli, and a former commissioner with the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission Murshid Abdallah Mohammed to the post.

He currently chairs the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC).

He boasts taking over after the Electoral Commission of Kenya was disbanded following the uproar caused by its failure in managing the disputed 2007 presidential election which resulted in violence and the deaths of at least 1,300 people and the displacement of hundreds of thousands.

Hassan cited the creation of the regional coordinators offices which are connected to an established ICT system as some of the successes of the IIEC during his interview with the selection panel.

Panel Chairman Ekuru Aukot noted that the three nominees emerged top scorers in the interviews that were concluded last week.

Only four candidates had applied for the crucial position of Chair to the new electoral body when the position was first advertised forcing the Aukot led team to re-advertise. After the second advertisement 15 candidates applied and only eight were short-listed.

In addition two of those who had been short-listed for the interviews were disqualified after it emerged that one of them had been untruthful in his application while the other lacked a clearance certificate from the Kenya Revenue Allocation.

Critics were also of the opinion that the selection panel lacked a big enough pool from which to draw a more diverse group of interviewees.

The name picked will be presented to Parliament for debate and approval.

LABAN WANAMBISI

Laban Wanambisi is a Parliamentary and Political reporter. He joined the Capital Newsteam in 2005. Since then, he has reported on many of the major news events over the years including his first major assignment covering the 2005 National Referendum on the Draft Constitution, and several other subsequent key national and international events.