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Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Samuel Chepkonga
MPs are considering two options for an agreeable formula to pick electoral agency commissioners.

In what appears to be an agreed position within the House that the current commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will not handle the next General Election, the MPs are trying to hammer out a deal on the process of replacing the current commissioners.

Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Samuel Chepkonga said they were yet to agree on the right way to replace them. A select panel or expressly providing who sits in the electoral commission are the two options MPs have.

While some of the MPs within the House team want a selection panel set up to help pick out the new commissioners, others want the law to expressly determine who shall sit in the commission, as happens with the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).

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"We are still discussing that. We have not made a deal yet. It is a negotiation process, it is long drawn out, but we are still talking. There's the selection panel, and then others were saying we adopt what is in Article 215 with the necessary modifications. We are yet to agree on which path to follow," Mr Chepkonga told The Standard yesterday.

The CRA has nine commissioners: the chairman who is picked by the President, two picked by the National Assembly according to party strength, five picked by the Senate as per party strength and the Treasury principal secretary. MPs who have proposed that formula want it modified so that the political parties in both Houses share the slots equally.

But those who favour a selection panel argue that political parties should pick two members each, while three other members to the panel would be picked by non-parliamentary parties, civil society, and one by a group comprising trade unions, workers and employers.

The selection panel will pick the nine new commissioners and send them to Parliament for vetting, and then the names will be sent to the President for appointment.

The committee will meet this morning at Parliament buildings.

Other sources told The Standard the MPs want IEBC commissioners to quit and then be paid off for the remainder of their term so that they can be replaced immediately. If they are removed through a petition to Parliament, and then via a tribunal, it will take a long time.

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