Picking of IEBC commissioners law, drafted

IEBC officials and police inspect voting materials to be used for Ugenya Constituency by-election at Sega Polytechnic on April 04,2019 ahead of elections. [Photo:Denish Ochieng/ Standard])

A house committee has proposed a law to guide recruitment of electoral commissioners.

The National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) draft amendment Bill seeks to fill vacancies occasioned by four resignations at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission more than a year ago.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (Amendment Bill 2019) seeks to provide a mechanism that will form the selection panel for the commissioners and subsequent appointments should a vacancy arise.

At the height of the 2017 elections controversy, Roselyne Akombe tendered her resignation from the commission. Later, three others, Paul Kurgat, Connie Nkatha and Margaret Mwachanya left the Wafula Chebukati-led poll agency citing myriad reasons.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is yet to formally acknowledge their resignation and declare the vacancies.

The Bill will be among items to be introduced in the House when members resume tomorrow after the Easter holiday recess.

The William Cheptumo-led JLAC has proposed that a selection panel be set up at least six months before the lapse of the term of the chairperson or member of the commission or within 14 days of the declaration of a vacancy in the office of the chairperson or member under the Constitution.

The President shall appoint a selection panel consisting of such persons as Parliament shall determine for the purposes of appointment of the chairperson or member of the Commission.                  

Should it be passed and assented to by the President, the selection panel shall consist of four persons; two men and two women nominated by the Parliamentary Service Commission, one person nominated by the Public Service Commission, one by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and another one by the Law Society of Kenya.

“The respective nominating bodies shall within seven days of the declaration of a vacancy in the office of the chairperson or member of the Commission, submit the names of nominees to the Parliamentary Service Commission or transmission to the President for appointment,” reads the Bill.

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