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President Ruto declares six IEBC vacancies


President William Ruto looks on during the National Solemn Assembly at the Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi on February 14, 2023. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

President William Ruto has declared six vacancies at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

In a Tuesday Gazette notice, Ruto declared the position of the electoral body's chairperson and five commissioners vacant, which now paves way for their recruitment.

This comes after the retirement of chairperson Wafula Chebukati and commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu on January 17.

Three other commissioners Juliana Cherera, Francis Wanderi and Justus Nyang'aya had resigned from office while Irene Masit is currently before a tribunal led by Court of Appeal Judge Justice Aggrey Muchelule.

The tribunal is probing the conduct of Masit, Cherera, Wanderi and Nyang'aya in the run-up to the announcement of the Presidential results of the 2022 General Elections.

The IEBC Bill 2022 which has since been assented has changed the composition of the selection panel.

There will be a male and a female nominee from the Parliamentary Service Commission, unlike before when the nominees would be four.

The Public Service Commission, Political Parties Liaison Committee and Law Society of Kenya will each nominate one person while the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya will nominate two people, a man and a woman.

These new changes over the composition of the selection panel have now become a battlefront between Raila Odinga-led Azimio la Umoja coalition and the Kenya Kwanza administration with Odinga arguing that this will give President Ruto's coalition an advantage in the selection of commissioners who will oversee the 2027 General Election.

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