Ruto Defies Raila's Demands on Replacement of Chebukati
President William Ruto appointed a seven member committee to fill vacancies at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, setting himself on the warpath with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who spoken against the changes.
The committee was mandated to oversee the recruitment of nominees for chairperson and commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
In a gazette notice dated February 27, Ruto appointed Bethuel Sugut, Novince Euralia Atieno, Charity S. Kisotu, Evans Misati James, as members of the panel.
Other members included Benson Ngugi Njeri, Nelson Makanda and, Fatuma Saman.
Former IEBC commissioners Juliana Cherera (second left), Justus Nyang’aya, Francis Wanderi and Commissioner Irene Masit.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 7A of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act, 2011 (the Act), as read with Paragraph 1 (2) of the First Schedule to the Act, I, William Samoei Ruto, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces make the following appointments,” the gazette notice read in part.
The new commissioners will replace former Chairman Wafula Chebukati, his deputy Juliana Cherera, commissioners Boya Molu, Abdi Guliye, Francis Wanderi and Justus Nyang’aya.
Moreover, the team of seven will shortlist, interview and nominate successful candidates for appointment by the president.
Their appointment came days after Azimio leader Raila Odinga warned President William Ruto against plans to reconstitute the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
Speaking at a rally on February 22, Raila advocated for a bipartisan task force to be put in place to oversee the restructuring the electoral body, claiming that the move would end its monolithic operations.
“If our demands are not met within 14 days, we will lead Kenyans to mass action across the country. We must ensure that sanity is restored,” Raila stated.
In response to Raila’s ultimatum, Ruto argued that he would not be intimidated to give in to the opposition demands.
“We are all equal before the law, and any attempt to cause chaos will be dealt with accordingly. Nobody, will be allowed to intimate others in this country,” Ruto cautioned.
“You will demonstrate until you get tired of it,” he further warned Raila, urging him to focus on the nation’s productivity.
Outgoing IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati during the launch of the 2022 Post-Election Evaluation Report on Monday, January 16, 2023.