24 December 2008

Kibaki Seals Electoral Comission of Kenya's Fate

President Kibaki has signed into law the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2008. With his action the President has sealed the fate of the Electoral Commission of Kenya, which now stands disbanded. 174 MPs passed the Bill a week ago in Parliament. It will replace the ECK with an Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) and also set in motion the review process that will ensure that Kenya gets a new constitution. The Commission will comprise of nine members. Already a 27-member parliamentary select committee, chaired by Mandera Central MP Mohammed Abdikadir, has been set up to nominate members of the IIEC. 

The IIEC has the mandate to carry out wide ranging electoral reforms, register voters afresh and install new systems of tallying votes to ensure that elections are free, fair and credible. The new law, which amends Section 47 of the Constitution also provides for a referendum and establishes an Interim Constitutional Court to preside over disputes that are likely to arise from the review process. The 22 electoral commissioners have since moved to court to contest Parliament’s passage of the Bill. They now want the election of Mwai Kibaki as president of Kenya declared null and void by a court since it is the ECK that presided over the presidential elections.