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No agreement yet on IEBC bosses' send-off package

COUNTIES
By Moses Nyamori | September 29th 2016
Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe addressing the press on issues affecting the country. He said the deliberations on the IEBC sendoff package were "marked by a spirit of patriotism, mutuality and goodwill". (PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE/ STANDARD)

Electoral agency commissioners could not reach an agreement with the Government on their send-off package yesterday.

The nine Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) bosses and Government representatives tabled their proposals but could not agree on the figures.

The IEBC team was led by chairman Issack Hassan while the Government was led by National Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge.

This was the initial meeting of the inter-agency committee in the process of appointing a new electoral team ahead of next year's elections.

Mr Hassan is expected to chair a meeting with all the commissioners this morning to discuss the Government's offer.

The meeting will precede another one by a technical committee on the matter at Harambee House at 3pm.

Government Spokesperson Eric Kiraithe said the deliberations were "marked by a spirit of patriotism, mutuality and goodwill".

"While no figures were agreed upon during today's meeting, both sides tabled initial offers in terms of commissioners' terms of vacation from office," said Kirathe, who addressed the Press after the three-hour closed-door meeting at Harambee House.

Kiraithe was flanked by four IEBC commissioners and representatives from various Government agencies.

The Government said the commissioners had agreed to vacate office as soon as possible to allow for smooth transition and proper preparations for the 2017 General Election.

However, the commissioners said they will not leave until after October 4 when the Elections Amendment Act 2016, signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta on September 15, takes effect.

A joint select committee of Parliament had recommended that the electoral commissioners be paid their dues before they leave office by September 30.

Kiraithe said: "Both delegations have agreed on the need to have a seamless, lawful and timely transition at the IEBC. The IEBC delegation reiterated their undertaking to the nation to vacate office as soon as possible, for the sake of the country."

"Both parties noted that the new Elections (Amendment) Law, 2016 only takes effect on October 4 and the IEBC commissioners cannot resign before then." Opposition leader Raila Odinga wants the commissioners to vacate office by Friday to give room for a new team.

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