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.