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Reconstitution of IEBC: Political Lobby Groups Call for Adherence to Kriegler Report

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Reconstitution of IEBC: Political lobby groups are urging the suspension of new member recruitment for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), advocating for adherence to the recommendations of the Kriegler report.

The Political Parties Liaison Committee (PPLC) expressed concerns about the potential selection of unsuitable individuals amidst current political tensions.

Reconstitution of IEBC

Retired constitutional court justice Johann Kriegler [p/courtesy]

Political Lobby Groups Call for Adherence to Kriegler Report

PPLC Chairperson Evans Misati emphasized the importance of reviewing the Kriegler report, which cautioned against last-minute appointments of IEBC commissioners. Misati highlighted the risk of inexperienced commissioners navigating electoral processes if rushed appointments were made.

The Kriegler report extensively assesses the integrity of the entire electoral process, covering voter registration, candidate nomination, voting, counting, transmission, tallying, dispute resolution, and post-election procedures.

Misati warned that proceeding with the recruitment panel’s work without dialogue would have significant consequences for the country. He emphasized the need for a broader engagement beyond political factions, allowing other well-meaning Kenyans to participate in the decision-making process.

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Meanwhile, both the Kenya Kwanza and Azimio coalitions are engaged in a verbal dispute over the appointment of new commissioners. Azimio has cautioned that a crisis could arise if the process proceeds without their involvement.

Reconstitution of IEBC Resumes Amidst Collapsed Bipartisan Talks

The recruitment of new members for the electoral commission, which was temporarily suspended for bipartisan negotiations, is set to resume following the collapse of talks between the Azimio coalition and the Kenya Kwanza side.

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The Selection Panel, formed in February, had halted the process to allow for negotiations after Azimio raised objections regarding its composition.

Talks between Raila Odinga’s Azimio and Kenya Kwanza faced an impasse when the government declined to co-sign a letter it deemed unlawful.

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Tharaka MP George Murugara, co-chair of the bipartisan team, considered Azimio’s demands as beyond legal boundaries, resulting in a stalemate in early June.

The Murugara-led camp issued an ultimatum, urging Azimio to resume talks or allow the Selection Panel, led by Nelson Makanda, to proceed with its mandate.

George Murugara stated, “It has been one month since Azimio suspended the talks indefinitely. As Kenya Kwanza, we believe we should resume the talks. Either we agree to talks or follow the law.”

“We are inviting our colleagues for a meeting on Tuesday, July 4, to address the matter,” he added.

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Urgent Matter: Reconstitution of IEBC

Murugara emphasized the urgency of reconstituting the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), citing pending by-elections in several wards and constituencies.

He stressed that Kenyans should no longer be held hostage and called for adherence to the law.

“The first crucial topic to be discussed is the reconstitution of the Commissioners because it is of utmost importance and urgency for every Kenyan,” he stated.

Kibwezi West MP Mwengi Mutuse (Kenya Kwanza) asserted that if the Azimio coalition team refuses to attend the meeting, the Selection Panel should proceed with reconstituting the electoral agency, as the suspension was initially intended for dialogue.

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“The matter of IEBC is an emergency and should be expedited. We urge Azimio to join the talks on Tuesday, and if they fail to do so, the existing laws will guide the process of reconstitution,” Mutuse commented.

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Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo (Azimio), who co-chaired the bipartisan team with Murugara, accused President William Ruto’s supporters of sabotaging the talks.

“You cannot conduct bipartisan dialogue through unilateral press statements and ultimatums,” he criticized.

“The talks stalled when the co-chair refused to sign letters to the IEBC and the Selection Panel, claiming that these were independent bodies that should not be controlled,” Otiende asserted.


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