Panel on IEBC commissioners need time to pick credible team, activists say

The panel selecting the new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners should be given enough time to pick a credible team.

National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) deputy general secretary Nelson Makanda and the Kenya human rights commission executive director George Kegoro on Thursday said Kenyans want people who will ensure that next year’s general election process is free and fair.

He added that what is needed is a competent office to oversee the exercise.

“We do not want commissioners who cannot deliver their duties and therefore the panel interviewing and selecting the new IEBC commissioners should be allowed to give us the best people suited for those seats,” said Dr Makanda.

According to him, the new commissioners will be required to make important decisions about IEBC and elections and the process of selecting them should not be interfered with.

“There have been fears that next year’s polls will be extended because of the delay in selecting the new commissioners, but what is important for us as the civil society is seeing a competent team of commissioners who will diligently oversee the election process,” said Dr Makanda.

Several opposition politicians have expressed fears that the delay in appointment of new commissioners was a ploy to extend election date from August as is required.

“The challenges we are facing are as a result of the several electoral reforms that have been put in place as we head towards the 2017 elections, however, it is our hope that once the new commissioners are appointed into office will move fast to ensure the election will be held on the set date,” he said.

They were speaking during the Annual conference on Democracy, Human rights and governance in Nairobi on Thursday.

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