, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 21 – Legislators from Mount Kenya region now want ‘internationally accepted standards of voter representation’ used in determining the number of constituencies in the country.
The Members of Parliament from Central Kenya said on Wednesday that they “had resolved to appear before the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission (IIBRC) to push for this position, when it visits the region.”
Assistant Minister Mwangi Kiunjuri defended the group saying they had vowed to avoid tribalising the matter.
“It should not be about how many of our people live here (Central Kenya) but about the internationally accepted standards so that what we propose for our region will be accepted by other regions,” Mr Kiunjuri said after a two-and-half-hour meeting in Nairobi.
“We are looking for a very moderate way of doing it,” he said. “We should be able to look at how other democracies do it.”
The MPs have been vocal demanding for more constituencies in their region claiming that their areas are densely populated. Currently Kenya has 210 constituencies.
The IIBRC is mandated to review both administrative and electoral boundaries. It was established after recommendations from the Independent Review Commission that probed the 2007 disputed Presidential polls. The team concluded that the country was irregularly represented and called for review of boundaries.
The review commission is expected to evaluate proposals to merge constituency and district boundaries in the clamor for devolution of services. In its attempts to come up with widely accepted proposals the team is conducting countrywide public hearings.
“The Commission will be in our areas on November 2, 3, 5 and we have agreed that we must approach this issue as Kenyans and not as Mount Kenya,” Mr Kiunjuri emphasised.
While Central Kenya is pushing for more constituencies based on numbers, northern Kenya wants more elective units based on the vastness of their areas.