KENYA: Electoral Body Meets Religious Leaders, Asks for Fair Hearing

NAIROBI, MAY 26, 2016(CISA) – The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission on May 26 met the Inter- religious Council of Kenya as part of the on-going stakeholder engagement on election management and the debate on electoral reforms.

During the meeting, the commission urged all the parties involved to accord them a fair hearing and involvement, so that any dialogue initiative is not prejudiced.

The commission also assured the religious leaders of their commitment to follow the Constitution in addressing all genuine grievances raised against the IEBC.

“The commission appreciates their concerns, their role and their impartiality in the on-going debate about the future of the commission,” Capital FM quoted the IEBC Communications Manager Andrew Limo as saying.

Some of the organizations serving under the Inter-religious Council of Kenya include The Hindu Council of Kenya, Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops and Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims.

Others are the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, National Council of Churches of Kenya, Seventh Day Adventists, Organization of African Indigenous Churches and Ithnashari Muslim Association.

“We presented them with our road map to 2017 and the activities being undertaken towards the next General Election next year. We assured them of our commitment to our constitutional mandate and that we have answers to any genuine grievance against us,” Limo said.

“We agreed to hold regular meetings in future to address any other emerging issues.”

The electoral body’s commissioners are under pressure from the Opposition to vacate office, a move that has seen a series of protests in various parts of the country.

On Thursday, the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy however suspended next Monday’s anti-IEBC protests to pave way for dialogue.

A statement issued Wednesday afternoon indicated that the protests have been suspended for a week to give dialogue and peace a chance.

“In recent days, there have been mounting calls for dialogue. The church and the international community have called for dialogue, which is what CORD has advocated since 2014,” the coalition said.

“We remain ready for and committed to dialogue as the best path out of the crisis facing our nation,” it pointed out.

The suspension comes amid pressure from diplomats and church leaders who favour dialogue to resolve the IEBC stalemate as opposed to violent protests which have led to the killing of at least three people.

“We shall dedicate next week to the pursuit of peace, justice and dialogue with prayers for peace at Uhuru Park. Our supporters in the counties will hold similar prayers in churches, mosques, temples and sanctuaries with specific appeal for peace and justice to prevail,” the statement from the coalition explained.

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