Six elections a headache, says IEBC

December 6, 2011 1:52 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Monday raised the red flag over the next general elections saying there was need to determine the sequence through which the elections results would be released.

IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan told the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation Conference in Nairobi that there was need to figure out how to release the results without losing the credibility of the process noting that there will be six election levels.

He explained that the IEBC Secretariat was mulling whether to release the presidential election results before announcing the county ones in order to settle any anxieties.

Hassan also called on the political class to support his team as it embarks on determining the 80 new boundaries in order to save time and meet the constitutional deadline.

“How politicians respond to the report we bring on boundaries is going to have a knock-on effect on the other electoral process. We can’t move on if they all go to court and block our report. We require the support of all the actors,” he urged.

He added that there was need to resolve the uncertainty surrounding the elections date while at the same time calling for massive voter education.

Hassan also reiterated his concern over carrying out several elections

on one day saying they should have been cascaded.

“We wanted the (Committee of Experts on Constitution Review) to separate the elections like Nigeria has done because they are too bulky but they said no,” argued Hassan.

However the Director of the now defunct Committee of Experts (CoE), Ekuru Aukot, explained that it was better to run all the elections on one day in order to stop politicians from jumping ship in the event that they lost in a specific election level.

Aukot further challenged Kenyans to respect constitutional deadlines saying that it would have been possible to hold next year’s elections in August if Kenyans had made adequate preparations.

“In this country we have learnt not to respect timelines and to prioritise. If for example we considered the spirit and letter of the Constitution seriously, then there is no reason why we formed the IEBC last month. It should have been formed last year,” he argued.

Hassan also reiterated the remarks noting that his team had a short

period to prepare for the next elections.

The Chair of the now defunct Independent Review Commission Johann Kriegler also expressed his concern over the country’s preparedness for next year’s elections.

Kriegler argued that there was need to put in place early warning signs to prevent a repeat of the deadly 2007 post election violence.

He also challenged the country’s political class to provide sufficient backing to the new electoral body as it embarks on overseeing the next


“They will need sufficient support from political leaders and they will need it from the outset. They don’t have to go with begging bowls to the political masters to ask for support,” he quipped.

Internal Security Minister George Saitoti however assured Kenyans of

the government’s commitment in maintaining peace during the elections

saying it had already placed peace committees in the grassroots to

help forestall any violence trends.

He also expressed confidence that the country would have a new police

structure by February next year.

“We have formed a number of reconciliation committees in every district,” he said.

Kriegler also warned Kenyans against amending the Constitution to suit

the interests of a few individuals. He argued that it risked derailing

the gains of the Constitution reminding Kenyans that it was the

supreme law.

“The Constitution is a solemn Act and it wasn’t just agreed to by the

Legislature. It has the endorsement of the people so it shouldn’t be

changed haphazardly,” he warned.

Inuka Kenya Trust Chief Executive Officer John Githongo also

reiterated Kriegler’s warning saying Kenyans should conduct elections

as is laid down in the Constitution.


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