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Raila sets 2024 as the deadline to reform IEBC, Judiciary

Raila sets 2024 as the deadline to reform IEBC and the Judiciary ahead of the 2027 general elections.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga has mooted plans for major institutional reforms in the Judiciary and the electoral commission ahead of 2027 polls.

The move could see a total overhaul of their current institution’s structure.

Raila says there was a general consensus within Azimio that the country cannot go for another election with the Judiciary and IEBC in their current state.

The former Prime Minister has lambasted the two institutions over their conduct in just concluded general elections.

The Azimio coalition has now established a 2024 deadline for implementing the planned reforms, which some officials have indicated may involve removing the entire Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) team and installing a new one at least three years prior to the 2027 General Election.

In addition to rethinking the role of presiding officers (POs) in the announcement of election results, some of the proposed reforms include switching from the present hybrid of manual voting and electronic transmission to pure manual voting and transmission of results.

The coalition argues that even though POs play a crucial role since the results announced at voting stations are final and cannot be changed, even by the IEBC chairman, they are vulnerable to compromise by the political class because they are poorly paid and only employed temporarily during elections.

The alliance claims that the results were rigged at the polling places and during transmission after the electronic system was reportedly taken over by outside forces. The coalition lost the presidency to the Kenya Kwanza Alliance on August 9.

The Azimio team is considering two options to carry out its reform agenda: either through parliamentary channels or through a public initiative track that would result in a referendum.

Judicial reforms

Raila has lambasted Judiciary and he is suggesting radical surgery to get rid of corrupt judges. 

The coalition claims that the Judiciary has been infiltrated by external forces and was no longer working independently.

The Azimio team has criticized the “demeaning language” used by the seven apex court judges, maintaining that it has eroded confidence in the Judiciary and scared away other poll losers who had planned to file petitions in lower courts.

The fresh push to reform the two institutions was at the heart of Azimio’s retreat in Machakos County yesterday that was attended by Raila Odinga, Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua and Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka.

“You have noticed the corruption, incompetence, and capture of the IEBC. You have noticed the corruption and thuggery of the Supreme Court judges. The words used against us have never been used in our courts even in the dark days of single-party rule,” Raila Odinga told Azimio lawmakers yesterday. 

“We will talk. The constitution of this country gives power to the people of Kenya, and all the other people exercising power are exercising donated power. So the Judiciary is no exception, if they become rogue, we have power as the people of this country to reform them or send them home,” said Raila in Mombasa.

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