alexa New boundaries a step into the future - Daily Nation

New boundaries a step into the future

Monday January 9 2012

The electoral and boundaries commission has published proposed new electoral units and invited public debate on them.

Basically, the new constituencies are derived from the proposals made by the defunct Interim Independent Boundaries Commission, which generated a great deal of debate and were shelved awaiting further consultations.

Releasing the report yesterday, the recently constituted Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has taken the view that the process of demarcating the voting units was constitutional, and therefore should be adopted.

Quite significantly, the commission has opened up the discussion about the new constituencies and the challenge is upon the public to give proposals.

Not only is this a constitutional requirement, it is also a moral imperative given the sensitivity of representative politics.

In total, 80 new constituencies are being created to raise the number to 290. The proposals provided for 27 new constituencies in Rift Valley Province, 10 in Nyanza, nine each in Nairobi and Western, eight in Eastern, seven in North Eastern and five each in Coast and Central.

Previously, the debate was about the allocation of the constituencies, with critics saying the criteria used for their distribution was unfair. However, the IEBC has justified the criteria.

Even so, this matter will continue to attract intense discussion and sobriety is required. It would be destructive if parochial interests like clannism, and even religious rivalry are allowed to dominate the discussions.

Overall, the process of demarcating the boundaries must be concluded fast and fairly so that it can allow for the smooth implementation of other processes core to the General Election.