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IEBC panel rules worry ODM MPs

BUSIA
By | August 12th 2011

By Martin Mutua

A group of ODM MPs are up in arms over tough rules that have been set by the panel appointed to pick new commissioners for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

Impeccable sources within the panel told The Standard that some ODM MPs called members of the panel complaining about the rules, which they want the selection panel to scale down.

According to the sources, ODM MPs want the provision of being cleared by Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) and the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) removed since the two bodies are yet to be reconstituted.

The MPs are said to have argued that KACC is supposed to be reconstituted while the appointment of NSIS Director Major General Michael Gichangi was controversial since President Kibaki unilaterally appointed him without consulting Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

However, members of the panel who preferred anonymity dismissed the concerns.

"It is true some of our members have received verbal complaints from a group of ODM MPs but we are not bothered because this country must move forward," said one member.

Another member said they were doing their job in accordance with provisions of the new Constitution and that they will not allow to be compromised at this early stage.

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"I wonder whether the party had some people in mind that they want to be given this position but that is not our business since we have set the criteria for all Kenyans and those who qualify will be the ones to get the jobs," added another member.

The panel vowed that it will not scale down the criteria advertised, adding that it has a duty to protect the country from the chaos that occurred in 2007.

On Wednesday, the panel handling the delicate task of picking new elections managers set tough conditions for applicants, including locking out politicians and those adversely mentioned in probe reports.

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