By Eric Beigon/Christine Muchira
The joint parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms has recommended the formation of a seven member Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) that will serve on a full time basis.
The deal was struck after extensive deliberations which saw CORD and Jubilee coalitions cede their previous hardline stance on the size and the terms of service for IEBC commissioners.
The committee wants the current IEBC commissioners out of office by end of September to pave way for a new set of individuals to manage the electoral body.
There were growing fears that the joint select committee will be time barred in compiling its report on anticipated reforms at the body tasked with managing the country’s elections as its mandate was to expire Midnight Tuesday.
Sticky issues that tore the committee down party lines involved the size of the commission and the terms of service of appointed commissioners but after days of lobbying, consultations and deliberations, members of the committee co-chaired by senators James Orengo and Kiraitu Murungi Tuesday afternoon finally announced they were reading from the same script.
The nominees will be vetted by a panel whose composition the joint select committee that will have Parliamentary Service Commission appoint four people, two men and two women.
Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Council of Churches of Kenya, Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, Kenya Council of Imams and Ulamaa and the Hindu Council of Kenya will appoint one person each to the panel.
The Parliamentary Service Commission will not only take part in the vetting exercise but provide the secretariat to facilitate the activities of the selection panel.
”Parliamentary Service Commission provide secretarial services to the selection panel,” said Murungi.
Among other issues, the report recommends negotiated way out by the current IEBC commissioners, audit of the principal voters’ register, use of ICT in the next elections, nomination of candidates by political parties and the role of IEBC in the process as well as the framework on the announcement of presidential results.
“Upon request by a political party IEBC will be involved in the nomination process, said Murungi adding that “Names of all the people participating in nomination will be published 14 days before the nomination.”
Having successfully agreed on the way forward, the committee is said to be unanimous on the need to extend its term to allegedly oversee full implementation of its recommendations