Raila proposes decentralized election management: counties to man elections
Opposition leader Raila Odinga is advocating for a decentralized election management system, where counties would oversee elections in their jurisdictions, rather than a central body.
Raila made the proposal during the Leadership Annual Conference and Awards in Abuja, Nigeria.
He stated that a centralized system, such as the one currently used in the country, can be obscure and raise questions of credibility.
He posed the questions, “Do we need one electoral body to manage our elections or should elections management be devolved to the state regions or counties?” and “Should parties be allowed to second their members to the election management bodies?”
Raila answered these questions with a resounding “yes.”
If Raila’s proposal was to be adopted, it would mean the scrapping of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The US has adopted a decentralized election management system, where polls are overseen by individual states, with a designated chief election official who oversees elections within the state.
In 33 states, voters elect the chief election official, usually the secretary of state, but in Alaska and Utah, the role is held by the lieutenant governor.
Raila has vehemently opposed the results of the August 9 polls and has said he does not recognise William Ruto as the President of Kenya and declared the Kenya Kwanza government as “illegitimate”.
In his Kamkunji rally last month, Raila who was accompanied by his running mate Martha Karua, and other Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition leaders, repeated claims that the results were manipulated.
Claims that had already been rejected in court.
He declared that he and his movement “reject the 2022 election result totally”, which was received with great cheers and applause from an adoring crowd.
“We cannot and we don’t recognise the Kenya Kwanza regime,” he continued.
Recently, President William Ruto assented to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Amendment Bill 2022, which sought to alter the composition of the Selection Panel that oversees the filling of vacant positions in the IEBC.
Raila, however, has expressed concern over the integrity of the recruitment process, fearing that Ruto may influence the appointment of commissioners to his benefit.
“We demand that any attempts to reconstitute the IEBC single-handedly by Ruto cease forthwith so that Kenyans themselves can reconstitute the body after the firm and fair deliberations,” Raila said at an Azimio rally.
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