RSS

Tag Archives: Election Date

IEBC Must Remain Neutral and Why Kibaki Needs To Reverse Course On Election Date

Every Kenyan that cares about our beloved country is of the view or at least believes we saw the worst of the worst in Kivuitu and his now defunct Electoral Commission when it comes to how we elect our leaders, especially the president.

When the new IEBC was constituted and its commissioners sworn, every expectation has been this new body brings with it not only a sense of hope in finally having an election body that oversees elections that are as fair, open and transparent as can be, but one also that separates itself from politics and remains the neutral referee it must be.

By electing Isaack Hassan, a Kenyan of Somali descent to head the body, the decision makers were obviously also conscious of the fact tribalism has been rearing its ugly head in many, if not all of our institutions so someone from Hassan’s community is generally speaking seen to be less vulnerable to tribalistic conduct in carrying out the duties of this important office.

Both of these considerations, namely, the neutrality of the IEBC and absence of tribalistic or otherwise primitive conduct of the affairs of the IEBC are at stake and going by what just happened this week regarding IEBC’s announcement of the election date, a lot is left to be desired.

Our brothers and sisters from the Kenyan Somali community are also on test whether, indeed, they are or can be the neutral arbiters free of tribalism everyone is giving them the benefit of doubt to be or will they beg to differ.

While no one can at this time say the IEBC is compromised or is headed in the direction the old we so much wish to forget took us with Kivuitu, there are tell tales if the body does not re-evaluate and reverse course, it may start drifting in that direction before forced to correct course.

One such tell tales is the rush to announce an election date under circumstances that in the least clearly show the body has taken sides on an issue it should not.

When the Constitutional Court rendered its decision that is now on appeal regarding the election date, the court essentially gave the country two options and these are, have elections in March 2013, or in 2012 if Kibaki and Raila agree in writing to dissolve the Grand Coalition government.

Although the court did not order a time by which the two principals must agree to dissolve the government in order to have elections in 2012, the latest that can be is October of this year as that would allow the 60 days within which elections must be held under this scenario according to the court failure of which results in the elections being held in March 2013 as the court ruled in the alternative, unless reversed on appeal.

Yet, instead of awaiting either action by the coalition partners or the outcome of the appeal now pending regarding the election date, IEBC has gone ahead and announced its preferred date ostensibly in line with the court’s one half of its confusing decision.

Were that all there is to this, one would pay no attention to it but there is more.

According to the Standard, after its letter to State House seeking a meeting between it and the two principles was ignored, IEBC separately met with Kibaki who told the body his preferred date was the March date that extends his term of office.

The IEBC team then met with the PM who told them he prefers a December date which is also the date preferred by 80% of Kenyans and offered reasons why but the paper reports that “curiously no one went back to the President for direction after what the PM had said.”

In fact, a meeting was already scheduled for Monday between the two principals but then IEBC announced the election date on Saturday, before that meeting and a day after meeting both principals separately.

This conduct by IEBC is troubling for two reasons.

First, it clearly shows that the IEBC has taken sides as between the President and Prime Minister on an issue it should not at all.

There is nothing that would have compelled the IEBC to act in the manner it has other than either trying to make itself a player in a game it’s supposed to be an unbiased referee or Hassan and those who sided with him in making the rushed announcement in this manner have forgotten their noble role in this process.

Second, going by what the Standard reported, it is clear Kibaki is once again playing politics with a matter he should not.

We all saw Kibaki the other day clearly say “tutachaguliana mwisho wa mwaka huu” and when a reporter accurately reported this in the media to everyone’s relief, Kibaki hurried back to a podium to say he said no such a thing and name called the reporter for telling the truth about what he said.

Why is Kibaki not interested in having elections in December of this year as practically all Kenyans want?

His pointing to the “law” as reason why is disingenuous at best because the same law he is purporting to follow also directs him to agree with the PM to hold election in 2012.

The PM has said he supports a December 2012 election, a vast majority of Kenyans, which oddly includes his political enemies agree with him the only person in the way of having elections in 2012 is Kibaki and his clique who for one reason or another want to extend Kibaki’s term of office beyond 2012.

It is in Kibaki’s interest to reverse course on this issue and agree on a December 2012 date if anything for the sake of his legacy otherwise either the Supreme Court will follow the people’s will and set the election date for December or it doesn’t and the election are held in March 2013 as Kibaki wishes without any good reason leaving bad taste in people’s mouths as he leaves office.

The choice is his.

Advertisements
 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Politics

 

Tags: , , , ,

The PM’s Choice of Words In Criticizing The Constitutional Court Decision Was Inartful

In response to the Daily Nation story quoting the PM describing the Constitutional Court as “korti ya bandia,” I blogged as follows:

A friend who talked to a source present at the venue tells me Raila never said such a thing, namely, that the IEBC was interpreting a decision by “korti ya bandia” (fake or kangaroo court”).

According to the source, the PM did use those words but not in this context and the manner he used them was, in fact, complementary of the court.

I am inclined to believe that than what’s being reported, especially this being DN.

My position would be the PM can and should be critical of any court decision and we all as Kenyans must engage civilly in debate over any issue but not the PM nor the President or anyone else can deride the court in this manner, even when the court is clearly wrong for respect for the institutions, including the presidency and premiership is and must always be paramount and above all else especially now that we have the needed reforms underway.

Following this post, a netter provided a news clip showing the PM saying what he said, which I had seen elsewhere since posting my blog but the netter went on to say I was “defending the indefensible” in saying what I said above in the post.

In response, I have said the following to the netter:

I know you know better than saying I am “defending the indefensible” when I clearly state what my position would be were the account to be as reported by DN and not as my friend told me and if you missed it, here is what I said, “My position would be the PM can and should be critical of any court decision and we all as Kenyans must engage civilly in debate over any issue but not the PM nor the President or anyone else can deride the court in this manner, even when the court is clearly wrong for respect for the institutions, including the presidency and premiership is and must always be paramount and above all else especially now that we have the needed reforms underway.

There is no way you can take that and say I am defending what Raila said, if it is as reported by the DN.

I have since seen the clip and would say even if I and others objective can see what the PM was trying to say, it did not come across that way and he should not have used the words “mahakama ya bandia” at all lest the criticism he is getting would follow and I’ll give you the criticism is justified.

Having said that, I have also blogged as follows:

Raila is fully aware that his political enemies and opponents can diarrhea untruths, half-truths and other nonsense everyday and nobody cares but he misspeaks or God forbid he inadvertently says something he didn’t mean to say or in a manner he didn’t as all politicians are prone to or everyone is for that matter and everyone on his opposing side is ready to pounce or hang him for it.

In other words, Raila is supposed to be perfect and therefore super-human in everything he says and does in the eyes of his enemies and opponents but when his supporters present him as the least imperfect and most qualified of all the candidates seeking the presidency, they are told they are idolators who worship him.

The disingenuity and hypocrisy in those who so criticize him and his supporters is obvious and something he and his supporters must live with through the day he is reelected and sworn as our next president.

Please also note my friend was right in what what his source told him that Raila never said what he was quoted as saying in the DN, namely, “korti ya bandia.” The words Raila actually used were “mahakama ya bandia.

It’s inaccuracies like this in media reporting that keep people on the edge but sometimes its more than just inaccuracies in reporting but that does not take away the fact that our leaders must be careful in what they say.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Politics

 

Tags: , , , ,