ELECTION CHANGES

Fast-track IEBC reform before 2022 elections

In Summary

• The IEBC has proposed a raft of changes including reducing the number of commissioners to five

• The IEBC is against the BBI proposal of the two biggest political parties each appointing one election commissioner

Deputy President William Ruto, President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga at the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative report at Bomas of Kenya on October 26, 2020.
Deputy President William Ruto, President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga at the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative report at Bomas of Kenya on October 26, 2020.
Image: PSCU

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has made its own proposals for reform just as the BBI report recommended that its leadership be changed before 2022 (see P6).

Both the IEBC and the BBI have made proposals for its reforms. All sides agree that things need to change.

The IEBC only disagrees on the BBI proposal for the two largest political parties to each appoint a commissioner. The IEBC would also prefer to have five commissioners rather than the seven proposed by the BBI. But there is no fundamental disagreement between the IEBC and the BBI. So changes can be made swiftly.

 

One problem with past elections, including 2017, was that new electoral commissioners were installed just before the vote. Consequently the commissioners lacked institutional memory and were out of their depth. 

The BBI legislation might take some time moving through Parliament and a possible referendum. The IEBC reforms should be separated from the other BBI proposals and fast-tracked so that there is no delay.

The IEBC reforms should be in place at least a full year before 2022 to ensure a free, fair and credible vote in the next election.

Quote of the day: "We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the colour of our moral character, from those who are around us."

John Locke
The English physician died on October 28, 1704