IEBC Rejects BBI Proposals on Nomination of Commissioners

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Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, IEBC has rejected new proposals by the Building Bridges Initiative, BBI to have political parties nominate its commissioners.

According to the electoral body, the decision to allow players (Political parties) to appoint the commissioners will be a drawback to the agency’s independence.

The commission said the parties’ interests will rather be served better during the vetting process since the selected commissioners will be vetted by Members of Parliament who are politicians.

“Political parties’ interests are sufficiently catered for in the vetting process since the selected commissioners are approved by the National Assembly,” reads IEBC report to parliament on Tuesday.

However, as one way of seeking alternative solutions, the electoral body unveiled its own reforms which they felt should be adopted by the national assembly.

In a report to Parliament, IEBC wants the number of commissioners reduced to five, including the chairperson as opposed to the current seven.

According to IEBC reforms dubbed ‘Electoral Law Reform in Kenya, the reduction will help increase the commission’s efficiency and effectiveness as well as reduce the potential for factionalism within.

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Other members proposed by the IEBC should include an advocate of the High Court, an ICT expert and and a human resources practitioner.

The commission further wants a provision for parties to substitute deputy presidential candidates before and after nomination. It also seeks laws providing that those joining the commission renounce their dual citizenship prior to their nomination.

The body also proposes that National and county elections be done on different dates to avoid jumbling up of different results in the same system.

Among other amendments that the commission wants to include banning the sale of alcohol 48 hours to the elections day as one way of taming poll violence.

“In case of failure of technology, Form 34A shall be physically delivered to the national tallying centre and verified against the physical Form 34A,” IEBC added.

Concerning the recent quorum hitch at the commission, the agency proposes that that quorum be a simple majority of commissioners present at the moment.

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The commission’s concerns come just days after Deputy President William Ruto also expressed concern over the proposed appointment of IEBC members by two major political parties.

The second in command, while giving an example of two football teams electing the referees who will officiate the entire matches, opined that the proposed appointment structure could portend chaos in the management of elections in the country.

“How fair will a league where the referee is appointed by, not all the teams, but some teams?” posed Ruto

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