We at ANC are unequivocal that IEBC as currently constituted cannot deliver fair, transparent and credible elections 2017. We are convinced that a change of guard is overdue to avert chaos in the country. The IEBC has failed to exercise its broad mandate, and it’s unlikely its leadership can change its obsessively contemptuous mind-set.
However, for close to year, we at ANC have called for dialogue over the review – not just reconstitution – of IEBC but the fault lines in the country’s electoral system. Our view has been there is more to reconstructing the incapacity, incompetence, lack of integrity and waning public confidence levels at IEBC than just a game of musical chairs where you replace individuals.
Now that we seem to be agreed that dialogue is the solution, ANC calls for an all-inclusive broad-based representation in a national consultation by major stakeholders. Elections are not just a preserve of political parties or some with representation in Parliament. Elections are about restating sovereignty of the people, legitimizing their delegated power and strengthening democratic governance every so often through periodical elections. Elections are therefore not an end in themselves.
Other than reviewing the mandate, operational and administrative issues at IEBC to make it more functionary effective, there are pressing constitutional matters on representation as symbolised by the failed Gender Bill; the inadequacies in the Political Parties and Elections Acts; and matters essential to fair elections such as the Executive’s role in issuance of identity cards to Kenyans.
ANC therefore believes we need to set the right mood for a plausible agenda on electoral review rather than present adversarial stop-gap measures prejudicial to the very dialogue we seek. The grandstanding being exhibited could turn out to be a coordinated attempt to subvert the holding of elections in 2017. We highly suspect that current procrastination is intended to postpone the 2017 elections.
On one hand, the narrative that we will cure the malady in our electoral system for a credible election 2017 by sharing appointment of new commissioners amongst favoured few political parties is misleading short-sightedness. Such will only embed partisanship rather than secure independence. On the other hand, the cynical view being espoused by a section in government that only duly legislated process can lead to a settlement is underestimation of the enormity the country faces should a political settlement not be reached. It’s a disrespectful way of dismissing engagement. These entire show-off attitudes can only torpedo the very essence of seeking a solution.
It is also imperative to note that the 10th Parliament short-changed Kenyans by weakening electoral laws. The current parliament has shown only appetite to better its predecessor by weakening the constitution. Allowing self-interest to prevail over the will of Kenyans is to court disaster.
Hon. Musalia Mudavadi, EGH. ANC Party Leader