NAIROBI MAY 10, 2016 (CISA) – Members of the opposition Coalition of Reform and Democracy (CORD), on Monday May 9, staged a street protest against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The opposition has accused IEBC of bias in favor of the government, demanding it be disbanded. The IEBC has however dismissed the charges and says its members will stay on.
Kenyan police fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters who had gathered near the University of Nairobi and IEBC offices at Anniversary Towers.
Last week IEBC chairman, Issack Hassan said that commissioners will not resign unless the opposition can provide evidence that they will favour the ruling coalition during the forthcoming elections due in 2017. He also said they would leave as long as the law is followed in removing them.
The opposition however maintains it will continue with its push to have IEBC disbanded and will continue holding countrywide protests in all IEBC offices to push for the ouster of the commissioners.
The protest by the opposition is the latest credibility issue faced by the IEBC. The body had earlier been accused of corruption in what came to be known as the ‘chickengate’ scandal, following investigations by UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) which alleged that about Sh50 million was paid out as bribes to Kenyan poll agency officials.
In a statement after the end of a five-day plenary assembly at St Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in Nairobi April 8, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) termed corruption allegations facing IEBC as a major cause of concern.
“Elections are very important activities in any country as they promote good governance and democracy. IEBC is such an important institution in this process and when it is also riddled with claims of corruption and incompetence, then our democracy and future is in danger,” said the bishops.
There is need on the part of all of us and especially those involved to make the institution more effective in accordance with the constitution in order to restore their credibility and confidence,” they added.