, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has rejected Parliament’s proposal to create 100 new wards.
In its final report on the boundaries gazzetted on Wednesday, the IEBC has instead backed its original document maintaining 1,450 wards.
The commission has however altered and rearranged several wards and placed them in new areas in constituencies.
In a statement IEBC chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan said that proposals from Parliament ought to have been on general principles instead of the actual creation of additional wards.
Hassan said that it was the Commission’s mandate under provisions of Article 89(3) of the Constitution to review the names, number and boundaries of wards to the Commission.
“The Commission was required by the provisions of Paragraph 3(6) of the Fifth Schedule of the IEBC Act to take into account the resolutions of Parliament in preparing the Final Report. In doing so, the Commission was guided by the constitutional and statutory provisions related to this mandate,” said Hassan in a statement.
READ the full report here.
Dissatisfied Kenyans now have 30 days to lodge appeals in courts over the final report on boundaries starting Thursday, March 8.
Hassan said that the law provided for periodic reviews of boundaries and therefore there was still an opportunity to consider some of the proposals made in the subsequent reviews.
Last Thursday Parliament approved the contentious report by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on the review of constituencies and wards boundaries, after two days of acrimonious debate.
The Justice and Legal Affairs committee in its report, proposed an additional 60 wards noting that the IEBC had based distribution of the wards on population size consideration alone.
The IEBC also said that it will conduct voter education on the published report and thereafter map the new electoral units and start the voter registration exercise in readiness for the first election under the new Constitution.
Hassan termed the preparation of the report as challenging as the Commission had to wade through polarising opinions, misconceptions and “high (often unrealistic) expectations” in order to come up with outcomes that satisfy most of the people.
He said that the commission also had to deal with the thinking among the people that it was curving out administrative units win it was identifying electoral units.