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MPs meet over IIEC nominees

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – The Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution Review was expected to hold talks on Monday to reach consensus on the membership of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC).

This follows the rejection of an earlier list by Parliament on Thursday last week.

PSC Chairman Abdikadir Mohamed had tabled a list nominating Nairobi 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 selected to be the other eight members of the committee.

Mr Miller’s nomination as chairman was strongly opposed by Parliament with many arguing against his credibility, inexperience and political affiliation.

However Medical Services Assistant Minister Danson Mungatana said Mr Miller was best suited to chair the new electoral commission.

“It has to be Miller. So far nobody has given a good enough reason why he should be dropped,” Mr Mungatana said ahead of the PSC meeting.

The appointment of Mr Miller also received the backing of the Law Society of Kenya which urged the Parliamentary Select Committee to retain the lawyer’s name when it reviews the list of IIEC proposed members.

“I strongly wish to advise the National Assembly to look at the candidature of Mr Miller from the point of his professional qualifications and asses his ability to lead the IIEC,” LSK Chairman Okong’o Omogeni said.

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“If you look at 39 (Miller’s age), it will be foolhardy for anyone to say that this is an extremely young man to be bestowed with such a task,” the LSK chairman added.

The vice chairman of the PSC Ababu Namwamba had indicated on Friday that a new list of nominees would be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday for approval.

The PSC may consider previously shortlisted candidates for the post of chair at the IIEC. They include 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.

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 by the Independent Review Commission headed by Justice Johann Kriegler, which called for the disbandment of the disgraced Electoral Commission of Kenya – formerly headed by Samuel Kivuitu.


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