KENYA: Religious Leaders, Civil society Want Electoral Reforms Concluded before Elections

NAIROBI JULY 22, 2016(CISA)-Religious leaders drawn from different faiths, members of the civil society and trade unions have called for urgent reforms at the Electoral and Boundaries Commission before next year’s general elections.

In a press statement read in turns by Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth, Vice chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops-Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC), Latif Shaban, Representative of Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) and Churchill Suba, Representative of Civil Society Organizations, the leaders called for the vetting of senior and county staff of the electoral body after the exit of its commissioners. The leaders under the umbrella the Multi-Sectoral Forum on electoral reforms noted that the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners must leave office “even if their culpability is not proven” but be given an exit package.

Addressing the media on July 20 at Ufungamano House in Nairobi, the leaders warned that the rivalry between the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee and the joint parliamentary committee could derail efforts to correct Kenya’s electoral system.

The leaders warned against any attempt by the political leaders to interfere with the date of the next general election.

Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai asked Parliament July 20 to consider extending the date of the 2017 elections so as to allow proper reconstitution of the ongoing reforms including giving IEBC new commissioners.

Speaking when he appeared before the joint National Assembly and Senate select committee on IEBC, the AG said the extension would guarantee adequate preparation for general election which is set for August 8, 2017 as stipulated in the constitution that was promulgated in 2010.

The multi-sectoral forum said they will advocate for the procurement of the election results transmission system by January 2017. “On our part we undertake to conduct our civic duty diligently and provide the support needed by the committee to execute its mandate expeditiously,” said the leaders.

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