How politics caused Miller deadlock

February 20, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 – Garsen Member of Parliament (MP) Danson Mungatana claims that political interference was to blame for Thursday’s rejection of nominees to the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) by Parliament.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Mr Mungatana said the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) was in agreement but things changed after a senior government official rejected the nominations.

“After all that consensus, a call came from a senior politician in this coalition government. The politician of high standing has grossly interfered with this process. (His) instructions were that it is not possible for this commission to go through Parliament if our tribe is not represented,” he alleged.

The Assistant Minister said members had agreed on the chairmanship of Cecil Miller after going through the list of the proposed candidates.

He also defended one of the commissioners, Suleiman Boko, whom he said was not an employee of the former Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), and therefore his nomination would not present conflict of interest.

“He was a Deputy Returning Officer in Garsen, the law only prohibits those who were ECK staff, and he was a temporary officer. He has no staff number neither a pension plan, his experience is a plus to be a commissioner,” he said.

Mr Mungatana who is also a member of the PSC dismissed allegations brought forward that there was a conflict of interest since Mr Miller served as his lawyer.

Mr Miller, charged Mr Mungatana, has also represented Water Services Minister Charity Ngilu.

The MP held that there was no solid reason over his rejection since his law background was an advantage to his position as the Chairman of the IIEC.

The Medical Services Assistant Minister further said the committee had agreed on criteria that would ensure every region was represented.

He said he was surprised that committee member Millie Odhiambo opposed Mr Miller in Parliament on Thursday yet she was the one who had proposed him.


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