Over 920 applicants express interest for IEBC chairperson, commissioners posts

Over 920 applicants have applied to fill the vacant posts in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as the deadline for submitting applications closed on March 28.

Of the 920 applicants, 25 individuals applied for the position of IEBC Chairperson, while 895 individuals applied for the six vacant commissioner posts.

The IEBC selection panel, chaired by Nelson Makanda, stated that the large number of applicants indicates the public’s confidence in the reconstitution process of the poll body.

Makanda said, “This is a good number because in 2016 when the Chebukati commission was being interviewed, only 15 people applied, and they had to do a re-advert where they got around 30 people. We are not worried about the applications of the chair.”

Despite the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition calling for the exercise to be halted, the IEBC reconstituting panel announced that they would continue with the recruitment process.

Makanda emphasized the criticality of appointing commissioners and the need for someone to do the job despite the current political contestation.

He said, “We must be able to constitute a commission in place, and when politicians agree, they can change the law, and Kenyans will follow the law that will be put in place. We are faithful to the task.”

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has set the reconstitution of the electoral body among the demands he wants to be met before he can call an end to mass action. On Tuesday, Raila said the Monday and Thursday protests will go on amid calls for dialogue.

The recruitment process comes after the expiry of IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati’s and commissioners Abdi Guliye’s and Boya Molu’s tenure last month after six years in office.

Three other electoral officials, including former IEBC Vice-chairperson Juliana Cherera and commissioners Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi, resigned last year following allegations of violating the constitution and gross misconduct in the last general election.

Commissioner Irene Masit’s appointment was terminated by the President following a recommendation by a tribunal constituted to probe her conduct during the August polls.

The tribunal’s report stated that Masit and her colleagues’ actions to disown the presidential results announced by the former IEBC chair amounted to gross misconduct.

Makanda emphasized that the appointment of the commissioners is a critical task, and despite the current political contestation, someone must do the job. “We are faithful to the task,” he said.

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