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IEBC cancels meeting with political parties over Facebook post

By Kevin Ogutu | Published Sun, March 26th 2017 at 00:00, Updated March 25th 2017 at 21:48 GMT +3
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati

A row has emerged between the electoral agency and the Political Parties Liaison Committee (PPLC) over a Facebook post made by the committee Chairperson Philip Abuba.

In a letter dated March 23, addressed to Abuba, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) CEO Ezra Chiloba cancelled a breakfast meeting on "key priority areas" the commission was supposed to have with political parties on Saturday because of the Facebook post.

"The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission wishes to inform you that the meeting scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled. This is following a disturbing message you posted on your Facebook page concerning the IEBC, the Chairman, Commissioners and staff," reads the letter.

"This is not the spirit of partnership we want to foster."

In the post, which has since been pulled down, Abuba expressed his disappointment at the manner in which IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati was running the commission's affairs and raised a concern on his commitment to delivering credible elections in August.

In an interesting turn of events, the PPLC has now petitioned for the removal of Chebukati from office for allegedly stating that he would not obey a court order that "interferes" with the IEBC's set timelines.

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"The IEBC Chairperson is setting our beloved country onto a very dangerous path where those dissatisfied with the decisions of IEBC may resort to other means of resolving their dissatisfaction other than the courts," reads the petition.

Abuba said the agenda for the cancelled meeting was to seek to review the timelines for electoral activities.

"One of the issues we were to discuss was the deadline for submission of party lists to the IEBC, which it had gazetted to be March 27. This contravenes the Constitution which requires that the lists be submitted 120 days before the election day, which makes April 8 ideal," said Abuba.

He said PPLC also wanted to ask the IEBC when it would be publishing the requirements for all aspirants.

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