President William Ruto on Monday, February 27, appointed a seven-member selection panel to oversee the recruitment of new members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Ruto names team to determine next IEBC chairperson & commissioners
The seven-member panel will oversee the recruitment of the next IEBC chairperson and other commissioners
The move by the head of state comes two weeks after he declared vacancies at the electoral body.
In a gazette notice, the president picked the following members to lead the exercise:
- Bethuel Sugut
- Novince Euralia Atieno
- Charity S. Kisotu
- Evans Misati James
- Benson Ngugi Njeri
- Nelson Makanda
- Fatuma Saman
In January, Ruto signed the IEBC (Amendment) Bill 2022 into law, which led to the formation of the seven-member selection panel to recruit the new commissioners.
The selection panel is required to have representatives of the Parliamentary Service Commission, the Public Service Commission (PSC), the Political Parties Liaison Committee (PPLC), the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya.
The panel will recruit the next IEBC chairperson to succeed Wafula Chebukati who retired after serving his six-year term and commissioners Boya Molu and Yakub Guliye who also completed their tenure.
They will also replace three other commissioners, Juliana Cherera, Francis Wanderi and Justus Nyang’aya who resigned from office after President Willam Ruto suspended them.
The announcement of the selection panel came hours after the tribunal formed to consider the petition for the removal of Juliana Cherera, Francis Wanderi, Irene Masit, and Justus Nyang’aya from office as members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) tabled its report to the president.
The Justice Aggrey Muchelule-led tribunal found that the concerns of serious violations of the constitution during the electoral period against the four commissioners had been proven.
Cherera, Wanderi, Masit, and Nyang’aya had disputed the presidential election results declared by the IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati on August 15, citing “opaqueness” in the manner they were arrived at. After the Supreme Court upheld the elections, petitions were filed challenging their suitability to hold office.
According to the Mucheule-led panel, Masit, who has been suspended from the commission pending the determination of the petitions, agreed to a proposal by Raila Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya coalition agents to moderate the presidential election results and force a re-run.
The tribunal found that Masit was guilty of gross misconduct and that her actions demonstrated that she was amenable to improper influence and could not be trusted to be an impartial and neutral arbiter.
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