Kenya moves to replace controversial electoral commission

[JURIST] The Kenyan government on Friday published a bill calling for a constitutional amendment allowing the replacement of the controversial Electoral Commission of Kenya [official website] which oversaw the re-election of President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] in December 2007, leading to massive demonstrations and more than 1,000 deaths. Justice Minister Martha Karua said the country's parliament could pass the bill within a week [AFP report], laying the groundwork for an interim body of five people to replace the current 22-member commission. The commission has called the claim unconstitutional [Afrik.com report] and is seeking a court order to block such a change. Some 600 employees of the commission who stand to lose their jobs are protesting [Standard report] the move, blaming the 22 commissioners and other higher-ranking officials for problems in the agency.

Kenyan protesters alleged fraud and vote-rigging [JURIST report] after Kibaki prevailed despite polls that placed rival candidate Raila Odinga in the lead. In March, Kibaki established a panel [JURIST report] to investigate the violence that followed the election. Human Rights Watch concluded the violence was planned carefully [JURIST report] by leaders on both sides. That commission urged the creation [JURIST report] of an international tribunal to try suspected perpetrators of the violence.



 

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