Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah has announced he will move to court next week to challenge the constitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Selection Panel.

According to Senator Omtatah, the IEBC Selection Panel was not properly formed as required by the Constitution.

The lawmaker says the process of hiring the members of the panel that will conduct the recruitment of new IEBC commissioners did not involve any public participation.

The Busia Senator argues that it is only the Parliamentary Service Commission that followed the laid down procedures by advertising the posts of those to constitute the critical panel.

“All these other bodies went into the boardroom decisions and handpicked people to the panel. To make it worse, the chair of the political parties liaison committee nominated himself. We cannot run a country like a kiosk,” said Omtatah said.

He further argues that the IEBC amendment laws were withdrawn from the Chambers before voting proceeded hence it was not passed by the Senate as is required by law.

“I will head to court next week to challenge that amendment, the chair was prevailed upon to withdraw the bill from the House, and no standing order provides for that. Therefore, that bill was passed without the debate on it and it's an invalid law,” he added.

The IEBC Selection Panel is chaired by Dr Nelson Makanda, with Bethuel Sugut, Novince Atieno, Charity Kisotu, Evans Misati, Benson Ngugi and Fatuma Saman as members.

The panel already advertised the seven vacant positions of IEBC chairperson and commissioners after President William Ruto gazette the members on February 27, 2023.

The Panel will recruit the replacements for former IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati, former commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye after their six-year terms ended.

They will also replace former IEBC Vice Chair Juliana Cherera, Justus Nyang’aya, Irene Masit and Francis Wanderi who were forced to exit after challenging the August 2022 poll results.

A total of 169 interested persons have applied to be considered for the seven vacant posts in the electoral commission thus far.