IEBC in dilemma over clearance of aspirants with integrity issues

IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba with chairman Wafula Chebukati

The electoral agency has received a list of 106 aspirants whose integrity is in question.

A report by the Archbishop Eliud Wabukala-led Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) lists the names of candidates vying for positions from the national to the ward level.

Although The Standard was unable to immediately establish the identity of those named by the investigating agency, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says those found to be in breach of the law would have their certificates withdrawn.

According to the report, there is no presidential candidate under investigation, but 11 governor, one Senate, two woman representative, 13 National Assembly, and 14 members of county assembly candidates still have to clarify certain matters.

Pending cases

Six governor candidates have cases pending in court and one has been convicted.

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“The commission will exercise its discretion to ensure that Chapter Six of the Constitution is complied with,” said IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati.

This could set the stage for another showdown between the electoral agency, political parties, and independent candidates, who are likely to cite the clearance of President Uhuru and his deputy, William Ruto, in 2013 when they were facing crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court.

At the same time, questions are now being asked whether the electoral agency has the power to recall nomination certificates issued to the candidates who have been cleared but still face integrity tests.

Lowering the bar

There is also the issue of threshold for an aspirant to be barred from seeking an elective position after Parliament amended the Leadership and Integrity Act to lower the bar.

Some candidates from both the Jubilee Party and those aligned to the National Super Alliance have been cleared despite the fact that they have cases pending in court.

The IEBC has written to EACC to seek more information and clarification on the 106 cases. It also wants the Commission for University Education to provide information on cases of questionable academic qualifications.

“The commission has written to EACC to seek more information and clarification and the Public Service Commission and Judicial Service Commission for clarification,” reads a statement by Chebukati. [Rawlings Otieno and Roselyne Obala]

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