Thursday

Electoral Comission of Kenya: Still far from democracy

Mwai Kibaki appointing the ECK members acted within the laws of the land and regardless of what we would say; The Kenyan constitution section 41 states that "There shall be an Electoral Commission which shall consist of a chairman, and not less than four and not more than 21 members appointed by the President". Now this is where the problem comes in, how can a president who is a participant of the said elections appoint people who are going to oversee the said elections without favour of who provided them with the job.

I do support minimum reforms before elections and most of the things i would like to see in the new constition will be trimming of presidential powers. The president can appoint the Electoral comissioners but they should pass through parliament for approval before they are confirmed for the job. Talk about separation of powers,doctrine of separation of powers is based on the constitutional dictum that "one shall not be judge in ones own case" or that "one must not be party, prosecutor and arbiter at the same time." This is what Kibaki has done, as much as the law allows him with no question to appoint the ECK comissioners he should have been adviced that the same said laws were the same ones he was against back in 1997 and 1992 if he was sincere about kenyan constitution.

Another part that i believe that the president current and past have consistently abused in Section 24 of the Constitution gives the President absolute powers with respect to constitution and abolition of, appointment to and termination of appointment from key public offices. The offices of the Attorney General, Chief Justice, Head of Civil Service, Chief of General Staff, Commissioner of Police, Members of the Public Service Commission and Judges would fall under this category. In order to assure the independence of these offices, i or majority of kenyans would want to see that presidential appointments and termination of appointment from any of the offices be subjected to confirmation by the majority of the members of the National Assembly. This will assure that no one awards a friend the "perfect job" and firing them whenever they feel like their friendship has soured.

As much as we see that we have progressed, Kenya is still far from democracy that we have been fighting for since Nyayo era, and i do not see any of the current leaders changing the constitution when they are in the office seems like they are using it to protect themselves from being voted out. The opposition namely KANU and ODM argument that they should be given equal slots on the appointment of the 19 members of the Electoral Comission will definately be more of a problem rather than solution. Most of the current politician seems like they care more of making it back to parliament rather than those of national interest and thats why i keep arguing that Kenyans suprise them come election date

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

as much as i feel u on this i think we kenyans are looking for soutions in the wrong place - the president is working with the current constitution and its up to the MP's to amend or make changes i think its really sad that we have MP's are complaining about this when they have been in parliament for 4 yrs. its ad that in kenya we have a parliamnetary dictatorship which stii does not do its job of controlling the executive dictatorship.

Majonzi said...
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