Elections 2017

Human rights watchdog proposes seven IEBC Commissioners

Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNCHR) has cautioned against reducing the number of electoral agency commissioners.

The commission now wants MPs to reconsider their plans and maintain the number of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners at seven.

Appearing before the National Assembly’s Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) chaired by Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragua), KNCHR said Kenya should copy Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania whose electoral agencies have no less than seven commissioners.

In a raft of proposals by its chair Kagwiria Mbogori, KNCHR said the electoral agency not only plays an advisory role but also a supervisory one in the formulation of policies, plans and execution of its own functions.

KNCHR director in charge of Research and Advocacy Anne Okotoyi, representing Mbogori, told MPs: “The complex nature of such a mandate and functions of the IEBC necessitates that the number of commissioners should not be less than the current seven for efficient functioning.” Reducing the number, she added, would make the agency less diverse.

The Kioni-led committee is receiving views on IEBC (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2019, which proposes reduction of commissioners to five, with three forming a quorum.