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We’ll leave when new team is formed, says IEBC

The Issack Hassan-led Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission team says it will leave office once a new line-up is formed.

One of the commissioners, Thomas Letangule, on Tuesday said the team was ready to go.

“We have already signed resignation letters,” Mr Letangule told the Daily Nation.

The commissioners are under pressure from the opposition to leave office by December 23, “so as not to interfere with preparations for next year’s elections”.

However, Mr Letangule said there would be no IEBC should commissioners leave office before new ones arrive. Urging Cord to concentrate on building its coalition, Mr Letangule said the team may be out of office any time from December 20 “when the select panel will have completed interviews”.

He dismissed claims by opposition chief Raila Odinga that the commissioners would interfere with the August 2017 election preparations.

COMMISSIONERS BE REPLACED

“The IEBC has a plan for the elections and the commissioners’ role is to supervise its implementation. The new team will continue with the plan,” said Mr Letangule.

A select team, chaired by Siaya Senator James Orengo and his Meru counterpart Kiraitu Murungi reached an agreement that the commissioners be replaced by a leaner team. The joint report was the basis for the Elections (Amendment) Act and the Elections Offences Act, which spell out the manner in which the polls will be managed.

Implementing some sections has become difficult. They include the requirement to have equipment to be used in the elections bought at least eight months before the poll.

On Tuesday, National Assembly Justice committee chairman Samuel Chepkong’a differed with Nyamira Senator Kennedy Okong’o, who said the team was wrong to approve the plan to have the equipment brought into the country by April 17.

“He talks as if he didn’t participate in passing the law. They (opposition) should accept they were wrong,” Mr Chepkong’a said, adding that the IEBC never dealt with procurement.

Additional reporting by John Ngirachu

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