Parliament building during the opening of the 13th Parliament, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

The National Assembly Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs has concluded public participation on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Amendment Bill after receiving five memorandums.

Committee chairperson George Murugara (Tharaka MP) said Kenyans were given a chance to make their presentation on the Bill tabled in the National Assembly by Majority Leader Kimani Ichungwa.

It went through the second reading yesterday.

Ichungwa sponsored the Bill to change composition of the selection panel that oversees filling of vacant positions in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) by having Public Service Commission and Political Parties Liaison Committee nominate one member each.

Clerk of the National Assembly Samuel Njoroge called for public participation and JLAC asked the public to submit memoranda about the Bill to reach the clerk’s office before November 28.

“The Bill seeks to change composition of the selection panel that oversees the filling of vacant positions in the commission with the proposal enabling Public Service Commission and Political Parties Liaison Committee to nominate one member each,” said Njoroge.

The IEBC Act of 2011 states that the seven-member selection panel shall consist of two men and two women nominated by the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) chaired by the National Assembly Speaker.

According to the Act, the IEBC selection panel is supposed to have one person nominated by the Law Society of Kenya and two people nominated by the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya.

The National Assembly Majority leader is seeking to reduce the four slots allocated to the PSC to two, to allow the Public Service Commission and Political Parties Liaison Committee to nominate one person each.

“The proposal seeks to reduce the current allocation of the Parliamentary Service Commission which nominates four out of the seven members of the panel.

The proposal will allow Public Service Commission and Political Parties Liaison Committee nominate one member each,” said Ichungwa.

The Majority Leader clarified that the enactment of the Bill shall not occasion additional expenditure of public funds to be provided for in the estimates neither does it delegate legislative powers or contain provisions limiting fundamental rights and freedoms.

According to the Act, a person is qualified for appointment as a member of the section panel if he/she is a Kenyan, meets the requirements of Leadership and Integrity Act, set out in Chapter Six of the Constitution and holds a degree from a university recognised in Kenya.

[Edwin Nyarangi]