The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Selection Panel has announced that the recruitment process of commissioners to the electoral body is ongoing.
The announcement came following a February 1, 2024, High Court ruling that directed the panel to start recruiting members of the Commission.
In a statement on February 9, IEBC Selection Panel chair Nelson Makanda noted that his team had carried out three stages of verification for all the applications received.
The applications received include those for the positions of the Chairperson and members of the electoral body.
“Further, we are in the process of concluding on the shortlisted candidates, before embarking on the publication of the same and subsequent interviews for successful candidates,” said Dr Makanda.
However, the Panel noted that it has faced challenges with regards to finances to complete the process
IEBC Panel meets Wetangula
The Panel met with the Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Wetangula to deliberate on the modalities of concluding on its mandate on February 8, 2024.
According to the statement, Wetangula undertook to liaise with the National Treasury on the allocation of funds towards the activities of the panel.
Furthermore, the panel noted that a review meeting on the progress of its activities will be held in two weeks’ time.
The panel also assured Kenyans that it is committed to conduct the recruitment exercise in an impartial, fair and transparent manner, with continuous updates to the country on the progress of this exercise.
The Makanda-led team is racing against time to find a suitable successor of Wafula Chebukati whose term ended.
Raila on dismisses Court
An update from the Panel came days after Azimio leader Raila Odinga trashed the High Court’s ruling that ordered the reconstitution of IEBC.
Odinga claimed that the reconstitution was not bound to continue without the recommendation of the NADCO report which is before Parliament.
“That is hogwash. Until Wandayi and Kalonzo’s report goes through Parliament, we cannot begin to speak about IEBC. As for the cost of living, our demand for lowering it remains,” Odinga said.
The opposition chief was speaking during his party’s membership registration drive at the Kamukunji grounds on February 4,2024.
The selection process had been put on hold following the constitution of the bi-partisan talks at Bomas.
In the final report, both Kenya Kwanza and Azimio coalition fronted talks teams seeking to find among others the best formula to replace ousted and retired Commissioners.
However, in her ruling, High Court Judge Mugure Thande said the political truce does not override the Constitution.
“I reject the notion that the political question doctrine should override the very explicit constitutional provisions and that the prevailing circumstances should be allowed to infringe on the rights enshrined in the Constitution,” read part of the ruling.
With the Selection Panel proceeding with the process amid opposition from Azimio, finding Chebukati’s successor is set to be the next battlefield for Raila and President William Ruto.