Explainer: How a new IEBC team will be appointed

Wafula Chebukati

Former IEBC commissioners Boya Molu (left), Prof Abdi Yakub Guliye(centre) and former Chair Wafula Chebukati during the launch of the Post elections evaluation report at Safari park hotel on January 16, 2023.

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

Following the completion of the tenure of former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson Wafula Chebukati and former commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu on January 19, the IEBC has only one remaining commissioner, Irene Masit who is currently suspended and facing a tribunal.

This is after former vice chair Juliana Cherera alongside former commissioners Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi resigned after they were suspended from office by President Ruto last year.

Ms Cherera, Mr Nyang’aya, Mr Wandera and Ms Masit were on December 2, 2022 suspended and a tribunal was formed to probe their conduct after they disputed the presidential election results declared by Mr Chebukati in August 2022. 

Nation Newsplex breaks down the process to be followed before a new commission can be formed.

First, the President is expected to form a  selection panel that will consist of two nominees- one man and one woman- from the Parliamentary Service Commission, one person nominated each by the Public Service Commission, the Political Parties Liaison Committee, the Law Society of Kenya and two persons- a man and a woman representing the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya.

The need to set up a new selection panel follows the signing into law the IEBC Amendment Bill 2022 by President Ruto on January 23. 

The new law states that a person is qualified to be a member of the selection panel if the person is a Kenyan citizen, meets the requirements of leadership and integrity as enshrined in Chapter Six of the constitution and holds a degree from a recognized university.

In its first sitting, the panel will select its chairperson and its vice chairperson after which they will have the task of inviting applications from Kenyans who meet the requirements to be members of the IEBC.

The panel will then consider the applications, shortlist candidates and then conduct interviews in public.

After the process is complete, the panel forwards two names for the chairperson and nine names for the commissioners slots to the President after which the President is then expected within seven days to send to Parliament the names of the Chairperson and six commissioners for approval.

If Parliament approves, the President then appoints the seven member commission through an official Gazette notice.