Resign voluntarily, ICJ tells IEBC commissioners

IEBC chair Issack Hassan speaking at a press briefing, May 5, 2016. [Photo/Paul Chirchir]

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chair Issack Hassan and his commissioners should voluntarily vacate office and allow a new team to be appointed to handle next year’s general election, this  according to the International Commission of Jurists-Kenya (ICJ).

The ICJ  urged the IEBC bosses to willingly resign to end the current row in public interest and for sake of the country’s future.

ICJ-Kenya Vice Chair Kelvin Mogeni is now calling on political leaders and the executive to pursue constructive dialogue to overcome the stalemate over credibility of IEBC and the electoral process.

The commission also wants Hassan and the nine commissioners to be investigated over claims of corruption and high handedness and appropriate action taken against any IEBC official found culpable.

There have been repeated calls for IEBC commissioner to resign.

Last week, the Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA) called upon the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan and other commissioners and staff named in the chickengate scandal to step aside and allow for investigations to restore confidence and integrity of the electoral body.

“We call for cross-board consensus in seeking a legal, civilized, fair and acceptable solution to the current stalemate. We especially call upon the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and its secretariat to soul search and put the greater good of the country before self,” read the statement in part.

KDA seemed to blame the IEBC for the current upheaval.

“IEBC is the one in the eye of the storm and the single trigger of the current violence. IEBC’s mishandling of the BVR kits that led to bungled 2013 elections and disputed results, allegations of dizzying levels of corruption against the commissioners, and their blatant disregard for constitutional and legal electoral provisions to favour preferred candidates and political parties have collectively rendered the continued presence of some of the commissioners in office anachronistic,” further read the statement.

Speaking last Saturday, opposition leader Kalonzo Musyoka told IEBC commissioners that they will have amnesty and full benefits if they voluntarily resign from their positions.

The Coalitions for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) co-Principal reiterated that the poll body, as currently constituted, is highly tainted and cannot conduct credible, free and fair elections and thus they should consider the offer and resign voluntarily.

For three weeks, CORD staged demonstrations against the electoral body which they say is unfit to referee the 2017 General Election.

The anti-IEBC protests turned violent with various leaders calling for dialogue between CORD and Jubilee leaders over IEBC.

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Maureen Murimi
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