Cord’s protest over tender for voter list audit creates dilemma
Insists the current IEBC commissioners be barred from handling anything related to 2017 polls, especially bidding
Cord’s protest over the IEBC’s decision to float a tender for the audit of the voter register has raised fresh concerns about preparations for next year’s elections.
With 299 days to the general election, the IEBC could fall behind schedule in preparations, with the process of recruiting new commissioners yet to start.
Cord had insisted that the current IEBC commissioners must leave office by end of last month and barred from handling anything related to the 2017 elections.
The commissioners resigned last week, but they will remain in office until their successors are sworn in, most likely in December.
Critical among the issues to be handled before December is the cleaning up of the voter register, as well as the procurement of election materials.
On Monday, IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba invited Expression of Interest from suitably qualified firms with appropriate experience and expertise to conduct the audit of the voter register.
However, Siaya Senator James Orengo, who co-chaired the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms, issued a statement dismissing the tendering process.
In a letter to Chiloba, Orengo warned the IEBC against rushing to audit the register before the commissioners, who have resigned, leave office.
“The outgoing commissioners have no legal competence and cannot constitute the commission as their numbers and appointment are now outside the legal framework. They cannot act in the capacity of commissioners. They are gone and gone for good,” he said.
“The secretariat is, therefore, walking in a minefield that includes the arbitrary arrogation of the constitutional responsibility and authority of the commission. Be warned.”
The Elections Laws (Amendment) Act requires the IEBC to, within 30 days of the commencement, engage a professional reputable firm to conduct an audit of the voter register.
The amended law came into effect on October 4, leading to the resignation of the current commissioners, led by chairman Issack Hassan.