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Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission rules out delaying its strategic plan despite CORD outcry

POLITICS
By Stephen Makabila | July 12th 2015

The Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) has declared its strategic plan launched on Thursday would be implemented and outlined general reforms to be undertaken before the 2017 General Election and their specific timelines observed.

IEBC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ezra Chiloba said the 2015-2020 strategic plan would not be suspended as demanded by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) recently. 

“The strategic plan is not entirely about the 2017 General Election. The issues CORD raised in their Friday press statement were the same they presented when we met them on Wednesday. The strategic plan is self-executing and provides room for amends if they have any specific issues to raise,” said Mr Chiloba.

CORD leader Raila Odinga on Friday cautioned they had explained to the IEBC that they required more time to examine the strategic plan before its launch but the request had been ignored.

“We made this appeal based on our understanding that a strategic plan is an important tool in providing a sense of direction and outlining measurable goals, guiding day-to-day decisions,“   he said.

Raila disclosed that the concerns they shared with the IEBC revolved around the process of creating the plan, the content and the technology the commission plans to use in the 2017 election.

But Chiloba noted putting in consideration the time factor, it was important for the Commission to embark on reforms ahead of 2017 elections, and that  concerns by CORD or any other stakeholder would be taken on board.

Among key IEBC targets for 2017 is to have all legal reforms completed and all electoral laws enacted by December 2015 to enable the  General Election to be conducted  going by the laid down laws and time frames.

In achieving this, IEBC hopes to have all electoral laws reviewed and harmonised by August 2015 (next month), and the reviewed draft legislation submitted, debated and passed by Parliament by October 2015.

“Key stakeholders including political parties, candidates, Members of Parliament, the media, IEBC staff, security sector agencies, and CSOs are to be sensitised on the electoral laws by December, 2016,” reads the plan.

The Commission also wants to put in place a comprehensive, accurate and current voters‘ register to be used for the election and redistribution of registration centres and polling stations completed and gazette by June 2016.

The commission further wants overall results of the 2017 polls announced within a seven-day period after the election. It wants the existing voter education curriculum reviewed to make it responsive to the needs of voters by December, 2015 and implemented over the plan period.

It also intends to ensure a reduction in the proportion of election-related cases reported and investigated by 50 per cent in the 2017 General Election. Appropriate Information Communication Technology (ICT ) solutions applied in internal operations by June, 2016.

By this deadline, the integrated ICT system for operations and management of elections must have been installed and tested. It wants an  elaborate electoral security plan jointly developed by the IEBC and the security sector agencies to be in place by June, 2016, and deployed during the 2017 elections.

Further moe, it wants a  programme for mobilising budgetary resources from non-state partners for electoral activities developed and implemented by December, 2015.

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