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Fresh IIEC list due next week

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 – A fresh list of qualified candidates for appointment to the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) will be tabled in Parliament next week for approval.

Vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Constitution Review Ababu Namwamba said on Friday that the team was already reviewing an earlier list following its rejection by Parliament on Thursday.

“We are considering the concerns raised in Parliament. Points raised were valid and as a committee we will move to address them,” Mr Namwamba said in an interview.

The Committee had tabled a list on Wednesday nominating City lawyer Cecil Miller to chair the commission, while Suleiman Buko, Tiya Galgalo, Hamara Adan, Kenneth Nyaundi, Yusuf Nzibo, Winfred Nguchu, David Chirchir and Charles Masinde were picked to be the other eight members of the committee.

Mr Miller’s nomination faced stiff opposition in Parliament, prompting heated debate.

When put to vote, 67 MPs supported the lawyer’s nomination while another 67 voted against. Under the circumstances, the matter had to go back to the PSC.

43 individuals had applied to chair the IIEC while over 2,500 others had applied to be included in the nine-member committee.

Others who had been considered for the chairman’s positions 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.

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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. The chairman’s position will be occupied by a person who is qualified to be a High Court Judge.

The IIEC was created following recommendations from the Independent Review Commission, headed by Justice Johann Kriegler, which called for the disbandment of the disgraced Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) – formerly headed by Samuel Kivuitu.

Mr Kivuitu and his 21 commissioners were hounded out of office immediately after Parliament passed a law dissolving the ECK and replacing it with the IIEC.

The new body 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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