President Uhuru Kenyatta's delay in signing IEBC bills interfering with polls timelines
SEE ALSO :The curse of handshakeAccording to the co-chair of the select committee, Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi, the decision to set the September 30 deadline was to allow the new commissioners adequate time to prepare for the 2017 elections. But about the delays, he explained that once the committee handed in its recommendations to Parliament, the matter was out of its hands. "The committee was informed by the view that new commissioners must be in office at least six months to the next election. However, the report and the bills were out of our hands the moment we handed them over to Parliament. But the President is committed to the process, and as far as I know, he is going to sign the electoral bill into law," Mr Kiraitu said. But some members of the committee are worried that failure to meet the deadlines could jeopardise the original intentions of the select committee and mar preparations for the next elections. "The deadline will not be met," said Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen with finality. The committee expected that things would flow smoothly, but the party-hopping debate delayed everything, he added.
SEE ALSO :Uhuru to open Naivasha SGR stationSuna East MP Junet Mohammed said: "The deadlines were there for a reason. They were not there just for the sake of it. We are almost in the middle of the month, and I cannot confidently say that we are going to meet the deadline. If we don't meet the deadlines, we risk losing the gist of the whole process." Even assuming that the President assents to the bill today, it will still require another 21 days before it takes effect, which means that the country will still have to wait for another three weeks before the process of appointing the IEBC selection panel starts. The selection panel will consist of seven members who will recruit new commissioners to steer next year's General Elections slated for August 8. "The appointment of members of the panel could further delay the process, thereby delaying the exit of the current commissioners," said Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga, who also chairs the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee. According to Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior, the President has power to reduce the commencement date of the bill from 21 days to ensure the timelines are as close as possible to what the committee envisaged.
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