NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 10 – Homabay Town MP Peter Kaluma is now pushing for talks between President William Ruto and his closest rival Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Leader Raila Odinga for the sake of national unity.
Kaluma called for the talks barely 24 hours after Odinga announced the beginning of countrywide mass protests and civil disobedience against the Kenya Kwanza government, after failing to address their concerns during the 14 days ultimatum.
“President @WilliamsRuto and Right Honorable Prime Minister @RailaOdinga MUST now talk, even if just over this matter of Electoral Reforms, for the sake of national stability. By the way, why is it impossible to open @IEBCKenya servers procured using public funds!,” he said.
The legislator warned that failure to address the issue of election transparency will lead to chaos and havoc after every electioneering period.
He stated that the ongoing recruitment of the commissioners for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) must be halted saying it precipitates election disputes in subsequent elections.
“Kenya can no longer form @IEBCKenya with election rigging in mind. Let there be a fair and inclusive process of nominating Commissioners by Political Parties. Proceeding as is happening is planting seeds for electoral disputes with risks to national stability in future!”Kaluma stated.
President William Ruto has appointed the selection panel for the recruitment of the nominees for appointment as the Chairperson and members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Through a Gazette Notice dated February 27, 2023, Ruto appointed a seven-member selection panel, two weeks after he declared vacancies at the electoral body, paving the way for the recruitment of new commissioners.
The Selection Panel has representatives of the Parliamentary Service Commission, the Public Service Commission (PSC), the Political Parties Liaison Committee (PPLC), the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), and the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya.
Kaluma opines that changes should be made to have political parties nominate commissioners as previously resolved in the Inter-Parties Parliamentary Group (IPPG)
“In 1997, the Inter-Parties Parliamentary Group (IPPG) resolved to compose the Electoral Commission by having Political Parties nominate Commissioners. That Commission held the only known democratic elections and referenda in Kenya in 1997, 2002 and 2005 referendum,” he stated.
The electoral commission selection panel has given Kenyans seeking jobs as IEBC commissioners until March 28 to submit their applications.
On 7th March, the panel put out a public notice calling for applications for the positions of chairperson and five commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.