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Roselyn Akombe resigns from IEBC

By For Citizen Digital

Dr. Roselyn Akombe resigned from the IEBC on Wednesday, October 18 [PHOTO | COURTESY]
Dr. Roselyn Akombe resigned from the IEBC on Wednesday, October 18 [PHOTO | COURTESY]

IEBC Commissioner Roselyn Akombe has resigned from the electoral body saying the commission “in its current state can surely not guarantee a credible election on 26 October 2017.”

In her resignation, which comes only seven days to the repeat election, Dr Akombe says the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is under siege and at the heart of the ongoing political crisis.

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“It has become increasingly difficult to continue attending plenary meetings where Commissioners come ready to vote along partisan lines and not to discuss the merit of issues before them. It has become increasingly difficult to appear on television to defend positions I disagree with in the name of collective responsibility. I have concluded that I am no longer making any significant contribution to the Commission and to my country as a Commissioner,” she said in a letter sent from the New York.

According to Akombe, the repeat presidential poll set for October 26 should be postponed in light of the ongoing political turmoil and disagreements among the stakeholders.

“It is critical that all political actors and the Commission take a pause to review where we are leading this country. It is not too late to save our country from this crisis. We need just a few men and women of integrity to stand up and say that we cannot proceed with the election on 26 October 2017 as currently planned,” Akombe said, adding that she would not wish to be “party to such a mockery to electoral integrity.”

She further challenged the electoral team, to be frank with the Kenyan people and clearly state the challenges they are facing in organizing a free, fair, and credible election.

“We need the Commission to be courageous and speak out, that this election as planned cannot meet the basic expectations of a credible election. Not when the staff are getting last minute instructions on changes in technology and electronic transmission of results. Not when in parts of the country, the training of presiding officers is being rushed for fear of attacks from protestors.

“Not when Commissioners and staff are intimidated by political actors and protestors and fear for their lives. Not when senior Secretariat staff and Commissioners are serving partisan political interests. Not when the Commission is saddled with endless legal cases in the courts, and losing most of them. Not when legal advice is skewed to fit partisan political interests,” she stated.

Akombe left the country on Monday this week and was expected to be in Dubai, together with other electoral commission officials, to supervise the printing of ballot papers at Al Ghurair Printing Firm.

However, she went to the US from where she released her resignation letter, saying she felt unsafe to continue serving at the IEBC.

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