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The Star (Kenya) - - Politics -

HE Op­po­si­tion has al­ready started cast­ing as­per­sions on the im­par­tial­ity and independence of the in­com­ing IEBC com­mis­sion­ers, even be­fore they are ap­pointed.

One only hopes that the state­ment at­trib­uted to Cord in yes­ter­day’s press is not the har­bin­ger of things to come. This is a sign of bad faith, even be­fore the process goes full cir­cle.

The im­pres­sion is be­ing cre­ated that the Op­po­si­tion is de­vel­op­ing this cy­cle of in­tim­i­dat­ing elec­toral man­agers for the sole pur­pose of frus­trat­ing the process.

There al­ready is con­sen­sus on the kind of elec­toral man­agers Kenya needs. A lot of ground has been cov­ered and the short­list­ing of the five peo­ple for the po­si­tion of the chair­per­son is an in­di­ca­tion that greater progress is be­ing made, even though the process is well be­hind sched­ule.

This is why there is high-level in­ter­est in the on­go­ing process. The next com­mis­sion­ers must be peo­ple who will have the courage to stand up in de­fence of the Con­sti­tu­tion. Those ap­pointed must pro­mote re­gional bal­ance so that the next Com­mis­sion has the face of Kenya. Such in­di­vid­u­als should have the aca­demic, moral and psy­cho­log­i­cal com­pe­tency to run such a de­mand­ing of­fice as the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion. We want in­di­vid­u­als of in­tegrity who do not rep­re­sent po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests and who will work in ad­vance­ment of the na­tional good. We want as­sertive in­di­vid­u­als; firm in their be­lief for a bet­ter Kenya and who can stand up against bul­ly­ing and in­tim­i­da­tion from mainly the po­lit­i­cal class.

The out­go­ing Com­mis­sion was some­what weak. It eas­ily gave in to po­lit­i­cal bul­ly­ing and it can be ac­cused of be­ing re­spon­si­ble for the mess the coun­try gets it­self in today in­so­far as prepa­ra­tion for the 2017 elec­tion is con­cerned.

Good faith from the po­lit­i­cal class is cru­cial if we have to hold the elec­tion next year. The elec­tion must go on as laid down in the Con­sti­tu­tion.

The timetable for the elec­tion has been pre­pared by the sec­re­tar­iat and all signs are other ad­min­is­tra­tive is­sues point to an elec­tion next year. What we need is con­sen­sus from the po­lit­i­cal class. This will help in get­ting the com­mis­sion­ers to be ac­cept­able across the board.

Ex­ten­sion of the elec­tion date is in vain. It re­quires a ref­er­en­dum to amend the Con­sti­tu­tion – be­cause push­ing the elec­tion date is tan­ta­mount to ex­tend­ing the Pres­i­dent’s term.

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