, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 5 – Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba on Tuesday urged Parliament to speed up the decision on the fate of the commission, expressing concerns that time was running out for key decisions to be made ahead of the August 2017 General Election.
Citing the Kriegler recommendations on electoral reforms, he said if a proposal for a new electoral body was to be adopted, it will require 24 months to be ready to conduct an election.
“We have no much time left… 398 days remaining before the elections, the country is uncertain in terms of who will run the next elections. It can be recalled that the current commissioners were appointed about 470 days before the elections held in March 2013,” he explained.
He was concerned that modalities of appointing new commissioners and the transition process were yet to be agreed upon with only about a year before the next election.
“We are 70 days late if we were to go by the 2013 timelines.”
Chiloba cautioned that appointment of new commissioners and getting them into the system with such a short time was complex.
Despite the outstanding key decisions required before the 2017 General Election, he stated that the commission’s secretariat was in line with the electoral calendar of events.
Though the secretariat deals with the bulk of the IEBC’s operations, he explained that commissioners have a legal and policy mandate that the secretariat cannot handle.
Chiloba called on Parliament to bear in mind of the tight deadlines and hasten the process that will give directions on who will conduct the August 2017 general election.
Currently, there are three processes in Parliament discussing the fate of IEBC and its Commissioners.
They include the Joint Select Committee on IEBC, the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee which is handling a petition by a Bungoma resident who is seeking for the removal of the IEBC Chairman and Commissioners and lastly a bill on the IEBC selection panel.
READ: Select Committee on IEBC to be debated Tuesday
Some of the proposals to be discussed include disbandment of IEBC, removal of current commissioners and terms of future commissioners (whether they will be part-time and the number required) and mode of transition.
According to the Constitution, the term for the current commissioners expires in November 2017, two months after the General Election.