, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 19 – The government has moved fast to beat the deadline of appointing members of the selection panel that will vet commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
The deadline was set in motion by the publication of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Act which dated July 5, but the publication date has been contested by MPs who argue that the Act was published on July 18 and cannot be backdated.
The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee led by Abdikadir Mohammed has summoned the Government Printer over the issue of the varying dates and is due to appear before them on Wednesday.
President Kibaki picked Marion Mutugi and Mwanyengela Ngali to sit on the panel while Prime Minister Raila Odinga picked Rosa Abuyu and Dr Ekuru Akuot.
The Kenya Anti Corruption Commission Advisory Board also forwarded the names of Irene Keino and Charles Wambugu.
The other nominees are supposed to come from the Judicial Service Commission and the Association of Professional Societies of East Africa.
The IEBC Act provides for the JSC, the KACC and the professionals’ association to nominate two people – one woman and a man – for onward approval by Parliament.
Only the President’s and the PM’s nominees are guaranteed their slots.
The implementation of the Act, whose publication date is July 5, was causing anxiety to the country as the President and the Prime Minister had just a few hours on Tuesday to nominate the panel that will vet the elections team to oversee the 2012 elections.
The 14 days within which the panel was set to be constituted was to end on Tuesday midnight as the government printer backdated the commencement of the Act to July 5.
The preparation of next year’s poll could be further compromised because members of the selection panel and those of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission have to be vetted by Parliament.
Parliament is already in the dock over the slow pace of passing crucial Bills that allow for the full implementation of the Constitution before the August 27 deadline.
The selection panel is expected to invite applications from qualified persons and publish the names of all applicants and their qualifications in the gazette within seven days of being set up.