President Ruto Gives Green Light to Formation of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission


President William Ruto has assented to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Bill.

This is the first bill successfully processed by Parliament based on the recommendations of the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) report.

The Bill paves the way for the appointment of IEBC chairperson and commissioners to fill the vacant positions.

The signing of the Bill from KICC was a shift from ther norm where the President traditionally signs Bills at State House.

The new law will put the country’s electoral management system in place, including paving way for the appointment of new IEBC commissioners.

The President has been put under pressure to sign the IEBC Bill amid calls by a section of Kenyans to recall their MPs for voting in favour of the impugned Finance Bill, 2024.

Opposition leaders and a section of the clergy have been calling for the signing of the Bill to facilitate the reconstitution of the electoral agency.

Last week, Azimio co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka claimed that they are aware the Bill has been sitting on the President’s desk for days.

“As a Coalition, we call out Ruto and demand that he assents to this essential Bill that allows citizens to hold their representatives in the Legislature accountable,” he said.

Kalonzo revealed that the Opposition coalition has through its constituent party mechanisms, put on notice all Azimio legislators who went against the wishes of the people and voted Yes for the Finance Bill.

“We are supporting the call for their recall,” he said.

Passage of the tax Bill sparked widespread public outrage with a section of the electorate choosing to defuse their fury by destroying properties beloging to their MPs.

A total of 204 MPs voted for the Bill at the second reading stage while 195 gave the piece of legislation the nod at the third reading stage.

Widespread public outrage eventually prompted Ruto to decline to sign the Bill and asked MPs to delete all the clauses.

A section of the electorate has, however, vowed to recall MPs who cast the Yes vote.

The process of recalling an MP is governed by the Constitution and the Elections Act.

The recall process has five stages.

The law says to initiate a recall of an MP, a voter from the constituency must file a petition with the electoral commission with signatures from at least 30 per cent of voters from the constituency and 15 per cent from at least half of the wards.

Once the petition is approved by IEBC and the MP given an opportunity to mount his or her defence, the constituency casts votes.

A recall becomes successful by a simple majority vote if at least 50 per cent of voters in the constituency participate.

MPs can be recalled on four grounds: Gross violation of the Constitution or any other law, committing an offence under the Elections Act, misconduct likely to bring disrepute to the office and if the MP is found to have mismanaged public funds.

“A recall of an MP shall only be initiated upon a judgment or finding by the High Court confirming the grounds of violation of provisions of Chapter Six of the Constitution, mismanagement of public resources and or conviction for an offence under the Elections Act,” the law says.

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