Six positions of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) have been declared vacant by President William Ruto, opening the door for the selection of new commissioners.
The president declared six of the seven positions available in a Gazette Notice on February 14, 2023, pending the hearing and resolution of a complaint against suspended Commissioner Irene Masit.
I, William Samoei Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Forces, declare vacancies in the positions of (a) Chairperson; and (b) Five Members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in exercise of the powers granted by section 7A (2) of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act, 2011 as read with paragraph I (I) of the First Schedule to the Act.
Read the notice.
Following the retirement of former Chairperson Wafula Chebukati and Commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye, whose six-year non-renewable term ended last month, three of the positions became vacant.
Following the resignations of Commissioners Francis Wanderi, Justus Nyangaya, and Juliana Cherera late last year, the other three positions became vacant.
The IEBC (Amendment) Bill 2022 was signed into law by the head of state last month, paving the way for the creation of a seven-member selection panel to choose the new commissioners.
The Parliamentary Service Commission, the Public Service Commission, the Political Parties Liaison Committee, the Law Society of Kenya, and the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya will all have representatives on the Selection Panel.
The Parliamentary Service Commission and the Inter-religious Council of Kenya each received two members (a man and a woman) under the Bill that was approved, while the PSC, PPLC, and LSK each had one nominee.
The opposition Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya Coalition, however, interprets the IEBC (Amendment) Act of 2022 as causing trouble, claiming that it gives the Kenya Kwanza coalition the advantage in selecting the new commissioners of the election body, a move that will create a new front in the parliamentary conflict.