NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 13 – The Joint Parliamentary Select Committee determining the fate of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) kicked off its sittings on Wednesday with an assurance to Kenyans the bi-cameral process will make sure the 2017 General Election is free and fair.
Committee Co-Chairs Senators Kiraitu Murungi (Meru ) and James Orengo (Siaya) said members of the public are supposed to be incorporated in coming up with draft on how a new IEBC should look like.
“We are here because there is a genuine feeling out there that we cannot have a free and fair election under the present circumstances. We are working with my co-chair as a team to ensure that this process is not interrupted and this process delivers,” said Murungi.
“Kenyans who will occupy this seats in 200 years to come will be proud of the Kenyans – 14 of them – who sat together to deal with a question that is before us; I therefore hope that spirit is going to continue.” Orengo on his part said.
House Speakers Justin Muturi and Ekwee Ethuro will on Friday address the Joint Select Committee retreat held to formulate the rules of engagement as it seeks to execute its 30 day mandate, after which it will present its report to the House.
The MPs adopted four thematic areas during Wednesday’s meeting which will guide them as they deliberate their mandate.
Under the first thematic area, the MPs will deliberate the allegation against the Chairman, the Commissioners and the Secretariat whereby issues such as credibility, impartiality, integrity and independence will be considered.
Legal mechanisms for the vacation from office of the Chairman, the Commissioners and the Secretariat of the IEBC in accordance with the Constitution will make up second thematic area.
In the third thematic area which consists of legal policy and institutional reforms to strengthen the IEBC so as to ensure the August 2017 General Election is free and fair and are administered in an impartial, efficient and simple, accurate, verifiable, accountable and transparent manner, the MPs have singled out the composition of the IEBC and the Secretariat and the appointment, terms of office, terms of service and removal from office of the Commissioners and the Secretariat of the IEBC as key issues which were clearly identified from the motion adopted by both Houses of Parliament last week.
In the fourth thematic area, the MPs will be looking at voter registration, voter education, nomination and registration of candidates, campaign management, publicity and media, use of information, communication and technology in the elections, voting process, transmission and declaration of the election results, allocation of special seats, election observation and evaluation and dispute resolution.
The Joint Parliamentary team also resolved that Parliament, the Jubilee and CORD coalitions and other stakeholders will each be allowed to nominate and second experts to work with the Committee.