ELECTORAL REFORMS

Delays in enacting electoral reforms may affect 2022 election – IEBC

Guliye says National Assembly, Senate has not enacted reform proposals recommended.

In Summary

• Commissioner Abdi Guliye on Wednesday said both the National Assembly and the Senate are dragging their feet in enacting proposed electoral reforms ahead of the election.

• According to Guliye, the reforms needed to have been enacted by now to allow the commission adjust its systems.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati in consultations with commissioner Abdi Guliye on July 5, 2018.
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati in consultations with commissioner Abdi Guliye on July 5, 2018.
Image: JACK OWUOR

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission now says the delay in enacting laws around reforms may affect the 2022 election.

Commissioner Abdi Guliye on Wednesday said both the National Assembly and the Senate are dragging their feet in enacting proposed electoral reforms ahead of the election.

According to Guliye, the reforms needed to have been enacted by now to allow the commission adjust its systems.

Guliye was speaking during a webinar on Kenya's scorecard on electoral reforms organised by the Elections Observation Group.

He said IEBC had set up a task force that collected views around the electoral reforms.

The recommendations of the task force were further looked at by an internal task force that reviewed those that needed refining before presenting them to the justice and legal affairs committees of both Houses.

“The law requires that issues requiring legislative interventions on electoral reforms must be concluded at least two years to an election. All the issues we presented to both houses have not been addressed contrary to our advice,” he said.

Guliye added, “This is a matter of concern for the commission because enacting the laws very late will have a great impact on the next election”.

Guliye said for instance there is no law that governs a referendum despite it looming.

He said the commission had identified the referendum gap in 2017 and drafted a referendum bill which has been tabled in the Parliament.

Guliye said implementation of the law on campaign financing has been cumbersome to the commission and had made numerous suggestions in the reforms.

We have done tremendous seasonal improvements to the IEBC act and we are engaging stakeholders to ensure all is set before the 2022 election,” he said.

The commissioner said the commission is also in engagements with telecommunication companies to ensure connectivity of stable internet across the country for relaying results.

“For us to be able to rely results we need a 3G network across the country. We are engaging relevant stakeholders to ensure that we do not suffer same challenges we face in transmitting the results in 2017,” he said.

Guliye revealed that the commission is reviewing whether it will need a whole set of new technology to manage the 2022 election.

“We intend to reuse the technology we have but looking at if we need to replace the software and hard wares because having a set of new technology would mean we look for other suppliers,” he said.

He said the commission has devolved activities to all the counties and enhanced capacity to ensure that its activities proceed with minimum support from the head office.

“We have had issues with internal processing and procedures since last election. As a result we have established a finance policy which has not been in place,” Guliye said.

He said the commission has developed and approved its manual on financial management and procurement which will play a key role in closing the gaps that have been a contention in every election.

“We are currently doing an extensive review of our HR manual,, ICT and Legal manuals. But the bottom line is that these manuals are dependent on having all the election reforms finalized,” he said.

He said the commission has further conducted an institutional restructuring to eliminate duplication roles within the commission but has not been concluded due to timelines.

“We have enhanced our governance structure and established an internal audit committee chaired externally to help have an independent chairperson to look at what things have not been done right,” he said.

He added, “We are re-looking at strategic plan of the commission and internally reviewing 2020-2024 document to guide the commission towards 2022 election. Our only challenge is limitation to funding to conduct all the reviews”.