Masit nomination splits JLAC vetting team

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 00:00 |
Irene Cherop Masit who was nominated to sit as a commissioner of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) during the interview in Nairobi. Photo/PD/file

Members of Parliament are divided on the candidature of Irene Cherop Masit nominated to sit as a commissioner of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

 Lawmakers who sit in the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee were at the weekend grappling with whether to approve or reject her after she unsuccessfully sought the Jubilee Party ticket in the Elgeyo Marakwet woman representative race in the 2017 General Election.

 Committee members who sought anonymity said her candidature had brought division among members as a majority felt she was not qualified to sit in the commission having participated in the party primaries.

 Masit was among eight aspirants who battled for the Jubilee Party ticket in Elgeyo Marakwet Woman Representative’s seat in the last election.

 “We went to Mombasa on Friday for a retreat so that we could write our report but by Saturday, we had not agreed on the candidature of Masit members were still divided, however we agreed to close on the matter before we table our report,” said an MP who did not want to be named.

 During the vetting exercise, Masit told the vetting panel that she only participated in the primaries, not the actual election after Suna East MP Junet Mohamed asked her whether she knew that party primaries are part of elections.

Article 88 of the Constitution says a person is not eligible for appointment as IEBC commissioner if the person held or contested for the position of MP or MCA within the previous five years.

 “A person is not eligible for appointment as a member of the commission if the person has at any time within the preceding five years held office, or stood for election as a Member of Parliament or of a county assembly.”

The move comes even as the National Assembly is expected to hold a special sitting tomorrow to discuss the JLAC report on the  vetting the four nominees expected to sit as IEBC commissioners.

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