, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18- President Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed Wafula Wanyonyi Chebukati as the new IEBC Chairman, effectively bringing to an end the term of the previous commission which was headed by Isaack Hassan.
Chebukati’s appointment was made on Wednesday evening alongside six commissioners who were all vetted and approved by the National Assembly during a special sitting held on Wednesday.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed the new Chairman and new members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC),” a statement from State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said.
The commissioners include Consolata Nkatha Bucha Maina, Boya Molu, Dr Roselyn K. Akombe, Ambassador Dr Paul Kurgat, Margaret Wanjala Mwachanya and Professor Abdi Guliye.
The delay in the appointment of the new IEBC commissioners had threatened to delay the election slated for August this year, prompting street protests by the Opposition which demanded that they quit office, leading to a bi-partisan process by the leaders from across the political divide.
“The President’s appointments bring to a close the process of the reconstitution of the IEBC,” Esipisu said.
President Kenyatta also expressed confidence that they will deliver their mandate to the expectation of Kenyans.
On the day the new appointments were made, President Kenyatta convened a meeting with Hassan and the outgoing commissioners and lauded them for the work done during their term.
The new team will be tasked with restoring confidence in the electoral body in handling the August General Election which is shaping out as a hotly contested race at the Presidential level pitting incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition which is working towards fronting a single candidate through an outfit known as the National Super Alliance.
The group brings together Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement, Kalonzo Musyoka of the Wiper Party, Musalia Mudavadi of the Amani Coalition and Moses Wetangula of Ford Kenya.
Odinga has contested and lost the presidential seat in the past two elections, while claiming in both that he was rigged out.