Thursday, September 8, 2011

Panel invites more applicants for IEBC post

The chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission selection panel Dr Ekuru Aukot said they have given candidates seeking to chair the IEBC two more weeks to send in their applications September 8, 2011. FILE

The chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission selection panel Dr Ekuru Aukot said they have given candidates seeking to chair the IEBC two more weeks to send in their applications September 8, 2011. FILE 

By AGGREY MUTAMBO amutambo@ke.nationmedia.com

Candidates interested in chairing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission have two more weeks to send in their applications.

The IEBC selection panel said on Thursday it had been forced to re-advertise for the position on Wednesday this week, after a very low number of applicants showed interest.

“The panel received four applications for the position of Chairperson (but) with the current limited applications, it does not have the requisite choice to enable prudent and effective shortlisting and interviewing,” said panel chair Dr Ekuru Aukot at Harambee House, Nairobi.

He said it would be imprudent to compile a shortlist because those who had applied were not enough to make the right selection.

Of the four who sought to chair the yet-to-be-formed Commission, one of them was not a lawyer and therefore could not be considered for interview. This therefore left only three candidates for shortlisting.

But while more candidates are invited to apply, the panel said the tough conditions it had earlier given for the post shall remain unchanged.

Applicants must be cleared by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, Criminal Investigation Department, Kenya Revenue Authority, Director of Public Prosecutions, Higher Education Loans Board and professional bodies such as the Law Society of Kenya (LSK).

This is beside the requirements that one has to be a person qualified to serve as a Supreme Court judge and must be a Kenyan citizen holding a degree from a recognized university.  They must also have proven experience in fields such as electoral matters, governance, law, management, finance and public administration. The candidate must also meet the requirements of Chapter Six in the Constitution on integrity.

According to the First Schedule of IEBC Act, the panel is required to select three best candidates for the post of chair after interviews and forward the names to the President, who will nominate one person.

But Dr Aukot said that to go ahead with interviewing only three candidates would amount to “strait-jacket the panel” because it will limit the choice “to select persons qualified to be appointed as Chairperson".

However, the panel is of the view that it would still manage to stick within its timeline to deliver the electoral team. While Dr Aukot admitted that he was not aware of why very few people were interested in chairing the IEBC, he said no more applications will be accepted after September 21.

A total of 431 candidates, four of who are seeking to be Chair, had handed in their applications and the Panel was to shortlist their names by next week. However, it means that only those who applied to be Commissioners will be published.

Interested applicants can download the application form(s) on the Public Service Commission website: www.publicservice.go.ke.

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