The Citizen Handbook

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010: The People’s Power

Elections: Representation of the People

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission

As discussed above in the overview of The IEBC Act, 2011 above, IEBC is an independent body responsible for conducting and supervising referenda and elections to any elective body or office established by the Constitution, and any other elections as prescribed by statute. Other important functions of IEBC include, but are not limited to, the following:
 ·         conduct continuous registration of citizens as voters;
 ·         revise and safely keep the voters register;
 ·         review the names and drawing of electoral boundaries;
 ·         regulate political party candidate nominations for elections and monitor their compliance with the Law;
 ·         settle electoral disputes before the declaration of election results;
 ·         register candidates for election;
 ·         conduct and oversee voter education;
 ·         facilitate the observation, monitoring and evaluation of elections;
 ·         regulate the amount of money spent by parties and candidates in elections;
 ·         Develop and enforce a Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates; and
 ·         Investigate and prosecute electoral offences by candidates, political parties and their agents.

Constitutional Principles

In fulfilling its mandate, IEBC must observe the following constitutional principles:
 ·         freedom of citizens to exercise their political rights;
 ·         not more than two-thirds of the members of elections public bodies must be of the same gender;
 ·         fair representation of persons with disabilities and other persons or groups with special needs;
 ·         universal and equal suffrage based on the aspirations for fair representation and equality of votes;
 ·         free, fair and regular elections; and
 ·         ethical and fair conduct.

Chairperson and Commissioners

The IEBC consists of a chairperson and eight other commission members. All nine are appointed using procedures, which can be found in the First Schedule of The IEBC Act, 2011. Appointment of the chairperson and commission members is on a full-time basis for a single term of six years without reappointment. The candidate for chairperson must be qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice, while a member of the Commission must be a citizen, hold a university degree, and have proven professional experience in one of several technical fields (i.e. finance, governance, law, etc.). He/she must also meet specific requirements outlined in Chapter Six of the Constitution.

Commission Secretary

The Secretary of the Commission heads IEBC’s secretariat, which is responsible for the Commission’s day-to-day administrative functions. The Commission must competitively recruit and appoint the Secretary. This person is directly answerable to the Commission and serves a five-year term with the possibility of a re-appointment by the Commission for an additional five years. The Secretary must meet the same qualifications as a commission member. He/she must fulfill several important roles on the Commission, including serving as IEBC's chief executive officer, head of the secretariat, accounting officer, and custodian of all records. In addition to these roles, the Secretary is responsible for the following:
 ·         executing decisions of the Commission;
 ·         assigning duties and supervising all employees;
 ·         facilitating, coordinating and ensuring execution of IEBC's mandate;
 ·         ensuring staff comply with public ethics and values; and
 ·         any other duties as assigned by law and the Commission.

Commission Secretariat

As mentioned above, the secretariat handles the day-to-day administrative functions of IEBC. It is comprised of professional, technical and administrative officers who are appointed by the Commission to carry out its work. Public officers assist the secretariat in its work. Not more than two-thirds of IEBC employees may be of the same gender, and the staff must include persons with disabilities and represent regional and other diversity qualities of the country.

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