NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says it is ready to conduct the next general elections any time from December this year.
IEBC Secretary and CEO James Oswago told Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday that his team has revised its strategic plans to prepare for polls as late as March next year, after the courts ruled that the elections can be held after Parliament concludes its full term in 2013.
Initially, the IEBC was working with an August poll date.
“We have since revised it (strategy) and we are able to hold the polls if they are called in December. It will be a surplus for the commission if elections are called beyond December,” Oswago said.
He however raised the red flag over an inconsistency between the IEBC Act and the Constitution regarding the time within which a challenge to its report on delimitation of boundaries can be determined.
The Constitution says the courts have three months to determine such a challenge while the Act only opens a 30-day window.
He said even though there are arguments that the Constitution is supreme, there is need for a judicial interpretation to declare the Act is unconstitutional.
The IEBC last week published its final boundaries report, which demarcates 80 new constituencies and 1,450 electoral wards.
Oswago said the sooner the country agrees on the delimitation process and all parties complied with the new stringent requirements of elections and political party laws, the better it would be for the commission to prepare a free and fair general election.
The Chief Electoral Officer said the IEBC plans to conduct a mock election in Malindi and Kajiado on March 26.