Kenya: Uncertainty Clouds Electoral Body's Review of Boundaries

There is actually no decision yet as to when the Independent Electoral along with Boundaries Commission (IEBC) intends to start the review of boundaries.

which has been a widely held view which the exercise will begin in 2020 along with end a year before the 2022 General Election.

DELIMITATION

nevertheless through an interview with the commission’s acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Hussein Marjan, the commission is actually yet to make which call even as he emphasised the “commission is actually fully prepared to undertake the responsibility as provided for within the Constitution.”

“The option the commission will explore shall be influenced by timely availability of resources along with some other programmes requiring thorough preparation along with equal attention like referendum along with General Election,” Mr Marjan said as he avoided giving a clear timeline.

Article 89(2) of the Constitution provides which boundaries delimitation is actually undertaken after every eight to 12 years.

Since the last review was completed in February 2012, which means the earliest the next review can commence is actually through March 2020 along with the latest time the delimitation exercise can end is actually 2024.

Some reports suggest which the commission is actually leaning towards embarking on the exercise after the 2022 General Election so as not to have any influence on the elections, in which case the reviewed boundaries will be used for the 2027 elections.

PLENARY

which possibility has been raised at the commission’s plenary, the highest decision-producing organ of IEBC, according to the commission’s insiders.

The Constitution requires which boundaries review should be completed at least a year to the General Election which means which the commission will be required to have finalised the review by August 2021 if they commence the exercise in March next year.

However, starting the exercise after the 2022 General Election could be impacted on the turnover of commissioners at IEBC.

If the remaining three commissioners — Chairman Wafula Chebukati, Boya Molu along with Abdi Guliye — were to serve their terms, their last day in office will be January 18, 2023.

With elections set for August 2022 as provided for within the Constitution, the following six months will be taken up by election petitions along with some other post-election business. which means they will have left office before the commission concludes the delimitation.

VACANCIES

nevertheless there is actually even a more immediate threat to their continued stay in office after MPs last week proposed a bill which sets the framework for appointing a selection panel to recruit commissioners.

The sentiment among MPs is actually which once the Independent Electoral along with Boundaries Commission (Amendment) No. 3 Bill is actually passed along with assented to, they might demand which the three commissioners leave officers to ensure the brand new selection panel recruits a fresh team instead of just filling the existing vacancies.

within the second review of electoral boundaries, IEBC will be able to alter the names along with boundaries of constituencies nevertheless the number set out within the constitution will remain at 290 unless there is actually an amendment to the Constitution. However going forward, the commission can alter the number, names along with boundaries.

According to Mr Marjan, the commission has prepared an elaborate road map underpinning the framework of the next review “bearing in mind availability of the census report.”

“The commission relies on census report since population quota is actually a major factor within the determination of boundaries,” he said.

BUDGET

According to the road map, the acting CEO makes references to, the commission estimated which the second boundaries review will require a budget of Sh7 billion spread across four years through 2018.

The National Treasury has within the current financial year allocated to IEBC Sh533 million for delimitation of electoral boundaries, a significant increase through Sh398 million the commission received in 2018/2019 financial years though still way below the Sh4.3 billion in their proposed budget.