Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Finally ECK to be disbanded

The countdown to the radical overhaul of the Electoral Commission of Kenya began with the adoption of the Kriegler Report by the Cabinet. This means that it is just a matter of time before ECK Chairman Samuel Kivuitu and his band are shown the door.

Setting off the countdown, the Cabinet — under President Kibaki — constituted a committee to, in the next two weeks, draw up an implementation action plan on Kriegler’s recommendations. And back in Parliament, MPs were awaiting the tabling of the report this afternoon, where all members would get a copy. To underscore the seriousness of the matter, President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga will head the committee, comprising former members of the Kofi Annan mediation team.

They are Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and ministers Ms Martha Karua, Mr William Ruto, Prof Sam Ongeri, Mr Mutula Kilonzo, Dr Sally Kosgey, Mr Moses Wetangula and Mr James Orengo.

Earlier, reports indicated that coalition ministers had differed over what position the Cabinet would take on the Kriegler report. Trouble started when a section of ministers opposed the adoption and presentation of the crucial report to Parliament. The ministers engaged in sharp altercations, with one side proposing it be noted in the Cabinet minutes without necessarily being adopted. One minister argued against sending Kivuitu’s team home, saying reforming the electoral body was envisaged in a new constitutional dispensation.

The minister is said to have put up a case that the Kriegler Report was one of several that would be received, and cited the Waki Report that could be presented to the President tomorrow. The minister, according to sources, argued that the best route to take was to adopt the Kriegler Report and all the others, then use them as input in the review of the Constitution.

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