Let IEBC continue to be independent

In Summary

• There is disagreement over whether party representatives should become IEBC commissioners

• Political parties can also approve membership of the panel that selects independent IEBC commissioners

The conflict between Azimio and Kenya Kwanza is now focussing on the constitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

Former Attorney General Amos Wako, and seemingly opposition leader Raila Odinga, favour appointing three party political commissioners to the IEBC team of seven. However the Public Service Commission, and seemingly President Ruto, favour a completely independent IEBC.

In principle, it is better to have an independent electoral commission. Political commissioners are likely to toe the party line and vote according to their preferences rather than the reality on the ground.

For example, the ongoing dispute about opening the election servers is a nonsense. All 44,000 Form 34As are online and report the results from every polling station. If any Form 34A shows signs of tampering, it can be highlighted.

It is much more important for Form 34As to continue to be posted online in real time than to open the election servers which only a few experts can understand. This vital reality can be obscured if the IEBC commissioners become political apparatchiks.

If the opposition insists that there should be party political representation, let it be on the panel that selects the non-partisan IEBC commissioners.

Quote of the day: "Don't let your sins turn into bad habits."

Teresa of Ávila  
The Spanish saint died on October 4, 1582

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