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JLAC forwards names of IEBC nominees to National Assembly for approval

By Jael Mboga | September 1st 2021

Juliana Whonge Cherera, one of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioner nominees before JLAC on August 24, 2021. [David Njaaga, Standard]

The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee has recommended the approval of four IEBC nominees.

The National Assembly is expected to consider the report during today's special sitting.

Lawmakers were recalled from recess for a special sitting to approve Juliana Cherer, Francis Wanderi, Irene Masit and Justus Nyang’aya for the electoral commission.

Sources within the 19-member committee disclosed that there was a split over the approval of Masit.

Some members are said to have pushed for her rejection over her involvement in the 2017 General Election where she unsuccessfully sought the Jubilee Party ticket in the Elgeyo Marakwet Woman Rep race.

But in the final document to be tabled, the committee recommended approval of the four nominees by the House. “All of them have been approved. The issue was raised when we retreated in Mombasa but we cleared her,” said the source.

The four appeared before the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC), vetting their suitability to replace four ex-commissioners – Roselyne Akombe, Consolata Nkatha, Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat.

 During her interview, Cherera told the panel she would prioritise the participation of minority groups during elections, should she succeed.

She told the IEBC selection panel that the top of her strategy will be to ensure inclusiveness during the election period.

“We will quickly do a crash programme…we will give the team 100 days to perform their duties. We will be very targeted at these teams and where they are. We will move to where they are, e.g if it's mama mboga, we’ll move to the market and register them from there,” she said, responding to a question on how to handle minority groups.

A total of 669 applications were received by the panel for the commissioner posts.

The vacancies arose following the resignation of four commissioners, leaving only chairman Wafula Chebukati, Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu in office.

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