International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) would like to express disgust and utter dismay over the attempts by the Executive and cabinet overt inference with Constitutional mandate and operations of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The Cabinet’s purported directives to IEBC on Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) are a nullity and should be treated with the contempt it deserves.
The commission arrived at its decision to suspend the Biometric tendering procedures based on its own analysis and assessment and therefore any directions amounts to duress in the IEBC to continue with a suspected flawed tendering procedures.
The commission enjoys constitutional monopoly on all matters pertaining to conduct and supervision of election in the Country and the Cabinet has legal basis and moral authority to issues, writs or directions.
We wish to remind the Cabinet that IEBC is a Constitutional Commission whose mandate is well set out in the Constitution and as its name suggest, it is independent of executive and therefore the purported directives amounts to executive meddling in the Commission’s operations.
Article 88 (5) of the constitution provides that the Commission shall exercise its powers and perform its functions in accordance with this Constitution and National Legislation. From the constitutional provisions, the Cabinet has usurped the power of the Constitution and/or written legislation of which it is not.
The executive must cease from political interference on the operations and decision making of constitutionally established and independent commissions.
Such directives portend a lot of danger in that the precedent of receiving orders is inimical to its institutional independence and mandate.
The commission must be allowed to execute its constitutional mandate without undue influence and/or interference from any person or authority. However, every Kenyan has a legitimate expectation that the Commission will come up with a water tight voter registration and transparent voting, tallying, transmission and announcement system.
Finally, we are urging all Kenyans to take responsibility and work together with the IEBC to restore credibility of electoral systems in Kenya. Also, they should protect not only the IEBC, but all other Constitutional institutions from Executive affront.
The writer is Executive Director,