NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – The recruitment of new Commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will be delayed after the Hindu Council representative resigned on Wednesday afternoon from the IEBC Selection Panel.
Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi says he has already written to the council requiring them to submit another nominee to the Parliamentary Service Commission for appointment by the President.
“We believe that this process is so dear and important to Kenyans that it should not be delayed even for a single day but we have to go with the desires of various nominating bodies to exercise their rights as given under the enabling legislation,” he stated.
Eight other nominees including NCCK Secretary General Canon Peter Karanja and Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims chairman Abdulghafur El-Busaidy have in the meantime been sworn into office but cannot carry on with the duty of electing a chairperson until they are fully constituted.
The nine-member committee comprises five nominees from religious organisations and four from the Parliamentary Service Commission.
Newly appointed Chief Justice David Maraga urged the committee to pick IEBC Commissioners who will be beyond reproach in a bid to restore confidence on the electoral process in the country.
“We all look upon you to give us commissioners, men and women of integrity who will run the electoral process in our country in a fair and a transparent as well as verifiable manner,” the CJ asserted.
“It is as a result of that process that we will have a credible and an accountable government.”
Others members of the selection panel are Bishop David Oginde representing the Evangelical Churches of Kenya (EAK) and Bernadette Musundi to represent the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB).
The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) forwarded the names of Evans Monari and Mary Kigen to represent the ruling Jubilee Coalition and while CORD will be represented by Justice (Rtd) Tom Mbaluto and Ogla Chepkemoi Karani.
National Assembly Speaker Muturi said PSC will provide the secretariat to the panel once its fully constituted.
“I would like to pledge my support and to ensure the selection panel is supported and facilitated to effectively and efficiently executes its duties,” he assured.
The panel will be required to invite applications of qualified people and publish the names of all applicants within the first seven days of appointment.
“The process that you are about to engage in will be geared to addressing one of the country’s political and legal crisis bearing in mind that this process will deliver to Kenyans the next electoral commission ahead of August 2017 General Election,” he cautioned.
“The country eyes and expectations shall therefore be trained on the members of the selection panel.”
The interviews shall be conducted in public.
After conducting interviews, the Selection Panel shall select two persons qualified to be appointed as chairperson and nine persons qualified to be appointed as members of the commission and shall forward the names to President Uhuru Kenyatta for nomination of one person for appointment as the chairperson and six persons for appointment as members.
President Kenyatta shall, within seven days of receipt of the names forward the list of nominees to the National Assembly for approval in accordance with the Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act.
He shall, within seven days of receipt of the names approved by the National Assembly, by notice in the Gazette, appoint the chairperson and the members of the commission.
The Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2016, is instructive that in short listing, nominating or appointing persons as chairperson and members of the commission, the Selection Panel, the National Assembly and the President shall ensure that no more than two-thirds of the members are of the same gender and shall ensure regional balance.
The Selection Panel shall stand dissolved upon the requisite appointments being made.