• LSK President Eric Theuri as well as Elog said the commission should be compelled by law to audit results of every election.
• The IEBC is pushing for its boundary review mandate to be given to another commission in a raft of proposals to the National Dialogue Committee.
The Law Society of Kenya has asked the bipartisan team not to interfere with the IEBC’s role on delimitation of boundaries.
The society wants a law developed to compel the electoral agency to conduct an audit of election results as a way of improving its processes to gain public trust and address any concern that partisan players may have.
LSK president Eric Theuri told the Kalonzo Musyoka and Kimani Ichung’wah-led panel that the review of the legal regime in the electoral space is critical to addressing questions of fairness and other complaints raised by poll losers.
He said the audit should not be dependent on whether someone raised a question on the electoral outcome.
“The IEBC owes a constitutional duty to Kenyans to be transparent, fair and credible, and justice is not doing it, but also being perceived as actually doing it,” Theuri said when he appeared before the team.
On the question of boundary delimitation, he said any move to change the law to remove the role from the IEBC would be illegal.
The IEBC is pushing for its boundary review mandate to be given to another commission in a raft of proposals to the National Dialogue Committee.
But Theuri said that given the fact that the law requires boundaries review done not later than eight years and not more than 12 years, creating an ad hoc body to deal with it would be wasteful.
“If the task is done not later than eight years and not more than 12 years would require an ad hoc mechanism away from IEBC. So after they have done that task, what would they be doing while enjoying the taxpayers money which is also scarce?” he posed.
He also called for insulating the Judiciary Fund established under Article 173 from Executive or political control by ensuring it is a direct charge on the consolidated fund.
"The independence of the Judiciary can only be guaranteed if they also have institutional autonomy including management and fiscal independence."
The call for a comprehensive audit of election infrastructure and results after every election was also supported by Elog national coordinator Mule Musau.
"We need to always conduct a comprehensive audit after elections. This audit should include activities carried out way before the election date; like party nominations," he said.
Musau added that the audit should not be limited just to presidential election results.
"If an audit is carried out after every election, it will inform comprehensive reforms of our elections," he said.
"We should also be able to gauge the vulnerabilities of our institutions after conducting the audit."
The dialogue team was told to amend the law to allow IEBC commissioner elect their own chairman.
The Centre for Multiparty Democracy- Kenya proposed that IEBC commissioners be appointed to office 12 months after elections and should hold office for only one term.
“We submit that IEBC commissioners be recommended from and represent political parties,” CMD-Kenya chairperson Priscilla Nyokabi said.
She said the criteria should be pegged on the strength of a political party based on the percentage of the national vote garnered in the previous general elections.
Currently, IEBC commissioners and the chairperson are appointed by the President, after a selection panel has recommended them.
Those nominated for the roles must be confirmed by Parliament.
Each member serves a six-year term.
By law, no commissioner can be a member of a political party.
The President appoints the selection panel for the recruitment of the nominees for appointment as the chairperson and members of the IEBC.
The panel considers applications for the position of chairperson and commissioners, shortlists candidates and conducts interviews in public.
It then forwards the two names for chairperson and nine names for commissioners slots to the President.
The head of state is expected to, within seven days, send to Parliament the names of the chairperson and six commissioners for approval.
Nyokabi said responsibilities, authority, and accountability between commissioners and staff should be clear.
“There is a need to develop an improved organisational structure to increase efficiency and accountability,” she said.