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Panel chief explains selection criteria

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Denzel Musumba

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The panel mandated to select members of a new electoral commission has defended itself against accusations of political influence.

Every applicant was given a chance during the selection process, according to the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Selection Panel chairman Ekuru Aukot.

“There’s no political interest at all. We only applied provisions from the Constitution. We will never satisfy everyone,” he told the Nation.

The panel, he said, used three steps to pick the 44 candidates out of 427 applicants.

In the first stage, all applicants were subjected to preliminary qualifications as set out in section 6(2) of the IEBC Act, besides checking whether they had followed the application procedure to the letter.

Dr Aukot explained that this stage saw 127 candidates dropped before the rest were vetted based on technicalities, general knowledge and integrity.

Here, the panel remained with 121 who were taken through gender and merit examinations. Only 44 qualified at this stage, he said. The explanation comes amid mounting pressure from section of MPs who have demanded that the applicants be shortlisted afresh.

On Sunday, Eldoret North MP William Ruto led other legislators in demanding an explanation.

“The selection panel must either redo the process or explain to us how less qualified persons were selected over the more qualified,” he said in Nairobi.

Among applicants for the position of commissioners to the IEBC were eight members of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission. Only three — Dr Yusuf Nzibo, Mr Abiud Simiyu and Mr Ken Nyaundi — were shortlisted for interviews. We are the leading radio for the African diaspora all over the globe..Join us live online http://www.eastafricaradiousa.com or on phone by dialing +1 712 432 2370 Ext 1 or call us for assistance on +1 347 666 2850..Thanks for being our listener.

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