Raila gives thumbs up to IEBC exit deal

August 17, 2016 6:25 pm
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The former Prime Minister urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to hold consultations on the new electoral officials/FILE
The former Prime Minister urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to hold consultations on the new electoral officials/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17 – CORD leader Raila Odinga has endorsed the report prepared by the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms which among others calls for the reconstitution of new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioners (IEBC) by September 30.

The former Prime Minister urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to hold consultations on the new electoral officials.

Overview
  • In its report, the Joint Select Committee recommended that the nine Commissioners led by Chairman Issack Hassan must exit office by September 30 to ensure the appointment of seven new commissioners in time for the 2017 General Election
  • The send off packages for the commissioners will be agreed upon after the committee's report has been presented and adopted by the National Assembly and Senate
  • Committee Co-chairs James Orengo and Kiraitu Murungi conceded that the change of electoral commissioners would ensure legal, policy and institutional reforms to strengthen the electoral body

“I wouldn’t want the President to have a role in selection of IEBC commissioners. But I hope he will find it necessary to consult me,” said Odinga.

This comes after the National Assembly approved a two-day extension for the Joint Select team to submit their report after meeting both President Kenyatta and the CORD leader.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and his Minority counterpart Francis Nyenze further confirmed that they will submit the Joint Select Committee Report and proposed Bills during Thursday’s sitting.

The 14-member team had earlier in the day met with the leadership of the coalitions in Parliament where they briefed them on their findings of the four thematic areas that they were looking into.

The CORD leader called on President Kenyatta to whip his Jubilee Coalition MPs which enjoys majority representation in both Houses to support the adoption and implementation of the recommendations.

“It was give and take… we have conceded many issues we were insisting on for the sake of this country. All CORD members will support the report and the draft bills,” he said,

In its report, the Joint Select Committee recommended that the nine Commissioners led by Chairman Issack Hassan must exit office by September 30 to ensure the appointment of seven new commissioners in time for the 2017 General Election.

The send off packages for the commissioners will be agreed upon after the committee’s report has been presented and adopted by the National Assembly and Senate.

Committee Co-chairs James Orengo and Kiraitu Murungi conceded that the change of electoral commissioners would ensure legal, policy and institutional reforms to strengthen the electoral body.

The 14-member team have also recommended a thorough audit of the voters’ register, the appointment of a multi-sectoral selection panel to interview the new crop of electoral commissioners and a strict adherence to the election date to ensure that the next elections are free, fair and credible.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi once again cautioned the Joint Select Committee against making recommendations that contradict the Constitution.

“I am unlikely to also approve things that are unconstitutional and more specifically Article 95 (5) (b) of the Constitution states exclusively the constitutional oversight responsibility of state organs is vested with the National Assembly of the Republic. This is just to draw the attention of the leadership to that particular fact; so that we don’t get something that will cause unnecessary acrimony in the House,” Muturi said.

This comes after Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga, who chairs the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly questioned some of the decisions reached by the MPs, including negotiating a send-off package for the nine commissioners; which he argues is not backed by law.

The commissioners told the Joint Select team of their willingness to leave office on condition that they are not prosecuted and that they are paid their final dues in full.

The Joint Select Committee had 30 days within which it was expected to report its findings and recommendations to Parliament.

The Majority and Minority Leaders in Parliament are supposed to signify the approval of the report and the draft by affixing their signatures to the final report and the bill(s) prior to the presentation to Parliament.

President Kenyatta and Odinga will be required to issue statements separately to support the final report and Bills.

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