Kicking Out Chebukati Is Impossible - Experts

  • IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati at the National Tallying Centre in Bomas of Kenya on Friday, August 12, 2022.
    IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati at the National Tallying Centre in Bomas of Kenya on Friday, August 12, 2022.
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • Azimio lawyers are now demanding that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati should not oversee a re-run, should the Supreme Court sent Kenyans back to the ballot.

    Addressing the media, Azimio lead Counsel James Orengo stated that Chebukati was unfit to be at the helm of IEBC, after committing what he described as irregularities.

    “We want a declaration by Chebukati quashed and that would mean that nothing happened in this presidential election. That would mean we go into re-election minus Chebukati," Orengo stated,” Orengo stated.

    But is it possible to remove Chebukati from office, within the tight timelines, as demanded by Azimio? Is Kenya staring at a constitutional crisis, should Chebukati or a section of commissioners throw in the towel and quit?
     

    IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati releasing the presidential election results at Bomas of Kenya on August 15, 2022
    IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati releasing the presidential election results at Bomas of Kenya on August 15, 2022
    Kenyans.co.ke

    Kenyans.co.ke sought clarification from a lawyer on the practicality of Raila's push to kick out Chebukati.

    According to constitutional lawyer Bob Mkangi, Azimio's prayer is impractical. He said Chebukati's role at the Commission is protected by the Constitution and in a case where the re-run is called, the time frame to carry out the exercise keeps him in office as the only National Returning officer with mandate to declare presidential winner in the election.

    "That is what Azimio want but it is not possible to have Chebukati out of the Commission should the Supreme Court order for a re-run. Its not possible because of constitutional time frame that is given by the constitution to conduct a re-run which is 60 days," Mkangi stated.

    This is against the backdrop of Orengo's demands that should the Apex Court call for a re-run, they would only participate without  Chebukati.

    Orengo stated that as Azimio, they do not trust Chebuati to carry out the exercise due to alleged massive irregularities that they intend to use as evidence.

    He said that they are accusing the IEBC Chairman of criminal conduct, transgression that amount to violation of leadership and integrity required by constitution.

    According to Orengo, Azimio is well armed with the evidence where systems and networks of IEBC were used to conduct the election in favour the President-elect, William Ruto.

    "We have a cocktail of orders we want from court but we could have a re-run if the court so orders. But we have circumstances in which we want the court to re-tally," Orengo added.

    But what if Chebukati resigns?

    According to legal experts, the country could be thrown into a constitutional crisis should the IEBC boss chose to hang his boots.

    This would mean that the outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is currently incapacitated to make appointments would stay in power until the new chairman is found to run the exercise.

    The process of recruiting a Commission chair is lengthy and it involves the Public Service Commission (PSC) advertising for the position, shortlisting, interviews and appointment.

    The Supreme Court will either uphold Ruto's win, order recount, or call for fresh elections in 60 days.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing residents of Nyeri county after commissioning the on Saturday, August 6, 2022..jpg
    President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing residents of Nyeri county after commissioning several projects on Saturday, August 6, 2022.
    PSCU
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