The giant workers unions in the country wants the current Electoral commissioners to vacate office if the country is to have peaceful and credible elections.
The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) in its presentation to the joint parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms yesterday said the current electoral commissioners cannot be trusted to deliver a credible elections in 2017.
In their presentation yesterday, COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli said the country cannot risk to go to the polls with the current commissioners in office saying doing so might plunge the country into chaos similar to that of 2007/08
“Kenyans have spoken and expressed their displeasure with the current commissioners in office, it is my submission to this committee that the commissioners be sent home if we want a credible election,” Atwoli said when he appeared before the joint select committee.
“Fact is Hon members, Kenyans don’t trust the current IEBC commissioners and therefore we should not have a long debate on how they should go home. We should find a quick way of sending them home for the sake of the country,” added Atwoli.
“This committee should move with speed so that the country can have a new team to oversee next elections in time,” Atwoli said.
Atwoli also suggested that commissioners of IEBC should serve for five years term renewable.
The COTU Secretary General said the country should not focus more on the election date scheduled for August 7, 2017 to do things in a hurry but should take time and have a credible team to prevent even future problems.
“Time of election should not be a hindrance of having a credible team in place, we can consider even extending election date by one year so that we have a lasting solution on this electoral commissioner’s menace,” Atwoli said.
The Kenya Law Review Commission (KLRC) in their proposal wants the recruitment of electoral commissioners begin at least six months before the expiry date of those in office.
Chairman Kenya Law Review Commission Mbage Ng’ang’a said the move would help to avoid last minute rush in recruiting new commissioners while elections.
The commission also wants the Supreme Court to give reasons for dismissal of a case should there be a presidential petition.
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) also supported calls on sending the current commissioners home and a new team be recruited to serve for a non-renewable term of seven years.
In their submission to the committee yesterday, ICPAK also wants the number of electoral commissioners to be reduced to five and they should serve on part time basis and there should be a clear definition of roles of commissioners and the secretariat so as to avoid conflict within the commission.
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