Kenya's parliament will begin vetting
prospective candidates to lead an interim Independent Electoral Commission
ahead of the 2012 general election. Kenyans have been demanding an independent
electoral body to conduct a transparent and credible election after the former
chairman of the current Electoral Commission Samuel Kivuitu declared incumbent
President Mwai Kibaki winner of the 2007 general election, plunging the country
crisis led to an international intervention led by former U.N Secretary General
Kofi Annan who brokered a peace deal that led to the formation of the current
unity government. Parliament then overwhelmingly voted to sack Chairman Kivuitu and his 21
commissioners for bungling the 2007 general election.
Wamwere is a former member of Kenya's parliament. He tells reporter Peter
Clottey that Kenyans will be following Tuesday's vetting process with rapt
think it will be something similar to what we had the last time, but, I suppose
that the package will be try to be a lot more careful. Of course they will be
trying to give their opponents the advantage. So they will be picking a
candidate or they will be trying to pick a candidate who will conduct an
election that is free and fair without any prejudice to themselves," Wamwere
said most Kenyans would be expecting the next chairman of the electoral
commission not to serve at anybody's beck and call.
think they will be expecting complete political neutrality from the chair of
the electoral commission and equally with the electoral commission itself
because remember this would not only be the electoral commission chair, there
would be commissioners, and all together must be extremely neutral in any
election that they will conduct," he said.
blamed Kenyan politicians for the crisis that ensued after the 2007 general election.
think it is important here to remember that the elections were not just messed
up by the electoral commission. They were also messed up largely by the
politicians themselves. So, I think that we have to be careful not to expect
miracles from the electoral commission. If there were any rigging then it was
rigging that was instigated by the politicians' themselves," Wamwere pointed
said there was need for parliament to ensure laws and regulations that would
make the interim electoral commission effective in organizing transparent
they should create such rules and regulations and laws that would ensure
complete impartiality. But I really don't believe that the political forces in
the country right now are actually looking forward to a completely independent
and neutral and impartial commission. I think if you watch the two political
forces that would be involved in this election, through their members of
parliament and chair of the election, I think both of them are hoping that they
will have a commission that will lean to their side. A commission that will
conduct elections in their favor and that is what each side will want from this
commission," he said.
described the political situation in Kenya as immature and unprepared for an
independent electoral commission.
don't think we have attained the kind of maturity that will put us in a
position where we will be able to say let the best person win in whatever
election or people who are ready to accept defeat graciously," Wamwere noted.