HomeNewsKenya strengthens electoral commission selection process with new law

Kenya strengthens electoral commission selection process with new law

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Kenya has taken a major step towards a more transparent and trustworthy electoral system with the enactment of a new law governing the appointment of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) leadership. This legislation establishes a rigorous and inclusive selection process designed to ensure qualified and impartial leadership for the commission.

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Key Features of the New Appointment Procedure:

Advanced Planning and Timely Action: The selection process for a new chairperson or member must begin at least six months before the current term ends. In case of a vacancy, a selection panel is formed within fourteen days.

Selection Panel with High Standards: The panel comprises seven Kenyan citizens with proven leadership qualities and integrity, as outlined in the national constitution. All members must hold a university degree.

Transparent and Efficient Operations: The panel elects its own leadership and establishes operating procedures. The Parliamentary Service Commission provides logistical support. Before starting work, all panel members take an oath of office.

Open Applications and Public Scrutiny: The selection process kicks off with a public call for applications. Details of all applicants are published widely, allowing for public awareness and scrutiny.

Rigorous Selection Steps: Applications are reviewed, followed by shortlisting, public interviews, and the selection of top candidates. Two names are forwarded for the chairperson role and nine for member positions.

Presidential Nomination and Parliamentary Approval: The president nominates individuals from the shortlisted candidates, with final approval coming from the National Assembly following a vetting process.

Ensuring Diversity and Balance: Gender equity and regional representation are considered at all stages, ensuring no more than two-thirds of appointees share the same gender and the commission reflects Kenya’s diverse population.

Timely Dissolution of the Selection Panel: Once appointments are finalized, the selection panel is dissolved.

Expected Impact of the New Law

This legislation is expected to significantly enhance public trust in the IEBC and the electoral process. By establishing clear guidelines and fostering inclusivity, the new law strengthens the commission’s integrity and functionality, playing a vital role in Kenya’s democratic future.

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