Kenya: Interim Independent Electoral Commission

Updated July 2010

The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) of Kenya was established by a 2008 amendment to the Constitution of Kenya and replaced the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) which was abolished and (Constitution, Article 41(1),(2)):

all rights, duties, obligations, assets and liabilities of the Electoral Commission of Kenya existing immediately before the commencement of this section shall be automatically and fully transferred to the Interim Independent Electoral Commission and any reference to the Electoral Commission of Kenya shall, for all purposes, be deemed to be a reference to the Interim Independent Electoral Commission...

However the ECKs function of delimitating boundaries was transferred to the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission. The Constitution (Article 41(10) species that the (IIEC "shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority".

Composition

The IIEC consists of a Chairperson and up to eight other members who are nominated through a competitive process by a Parliamentary select committee, approved by the National Assembly and appointed by the President in consultation with the Prime Minister (Constitution, Article 41(1),(3). The Chairperson must qualified to be a judge of the High Court and the other members be citizens who hold university degrees and are of high moral character and integrity (Constitution, Article 41(4),(5). Members of the National Assembly, local authorities, the executives of political parties, the civil service and the armed forces are ineligible for appointment (Constitution, Article 41(6).

A member of the IIEC may only be removed from office if the person is unable to perform the functions of office or for misbehaviour by a resolution adopted by a majority in National Assembly (Constitution, Article 41(8),(9)).

Term of Office

Because of the interim nature of the institution the IIEC stands dissolved 2 years after the promulgation of the constitutional amendment that established it or three months after the promulgation of a new Constitution, whichever is the earlier (Constitution, Article 41(13).

Functions

The IIEC is responsible for (Constitution, Article 41A):

  • reform of the electoral process and the management of elections in order to institutionalize free and fair elections;
  • the establishment of an efficient and effective secretariat;
  • the promotion of free and fair elections;
  • the fresh registration of voters and the creation of a new voter register;
  • the efficient conduct and supervision of elections and referenda;
  • the development of a modern system for the collection, collation, transmission and tallying of electoral data;
  • the facilitation of the observation, monitoring and evaluation of elections and referenda;
  • the promotion of voter education and the culture of democracy; ;
  • the settlement of minor electoral disputes during an election as may be provided by law; and;
  • the performance of other functions prescribed by law.

The the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act (Cap 7), Third Schedule, supplies rules that govern the proceedings of the IIEC.

Supporting structures, finances and reporting

The Constitution is largely silent on supporting structures, financing and reporting, leaving it to Parliament to "provide for the orderly and effective conduct of the operations and business of the Commission and of the powers of the Commission to appoint staff and establish committees and regulate their procedure" (Constitution, Article 41(11)). The Constitution, Article 41A(b) tasks the IIEC with the establishment of an efficient and effective secretariat. Subsiduary legislation to the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act (Cap 7), the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Regulations, 3(1) requires that the IIEC appoints a returning officer for each constituency and deputy returning officers necessary.

The Registrar of Political Parties (established by the Political Parties Act 2007, 3) who is responsible for the registration of political parties and the mediation of political party disputes was expressly retained (Constitution, Article 41(15); see also Conflict prevention and management).

Code of conduct

The members and staff of the IIEC are bound by a Code of Conduct appended to the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act (Cap 7) as the Second Schedule.

Members

The IIEC's commissioners were sworn in on 11 May 2009. The Commissioners are (Office of Government Spokesperson 2009):

  • Ahmed Issack Hassan - Chair
  • Douglas Mwashigadi
  • Tiyah Galgalo
  • Hamara Ibrahim Adan
  • Kennedy Nyaundi
  • Dr Yusuf Nzibo
  • Winfred Waceke Guchu
  • Davis Chirchir
  • Simiyu Abuid Wasike

Official web site

Interim Independent Electoral Commission of Kenya: [www] http://www.iiec.or.ke/ [opens new window] (accessed 12 Jul 2010).

References

CONSTITUTION OF KENYA, revised 2009, [www] http://www.kenyalaw.org/Downloads/GreyBook/1.%20The%20Constitution%20of%20Kenya.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 22 July 2010).

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS ACT (CAP 7), [www] http://www.kenyalaw.org/Downloads/Acts/The_National_Assembly_and_Presidential_Elections_Act_Cap_7.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 14 July 2010).

OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON 2009 "President Kibaki endorses members of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission", 7 May, http://www.communication.go.ke/news.asp?id=223 [opens new window] (accessed 15 Jul 2010).

POLITICAL PARTIES ACT 2007, [www] http://www.kenyalaw.org/kenyalaw/klr_app/view_content.php?ContentHistoryID=21121&CapID=625&preamble=1 [opens new window] (accessed 20 Jul 2010).

PRESIDENTIAL AND PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS REGULATIONS, appended on pages 34-113 of the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act (Cap 7), [www] http://www.kenyalaw.org/Downloads/Acts/The_National_Assembly_and_Presidential_Elections_Act_Cap_7.pdf [PDF document, opens new window] (accessed 14 July 2010).

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