Nic Hailey calls for IEBC to be given space as they prepare for repeat presidential election

Nic Hailey
British High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries (IEBC) needs to be given space to do its own housekeeping as it prepares to conduct the repeat presidential election, Nic Hailey told Capital FM News this morning.

The UK’s High Commissioner to Kenya was asked for his reaction to a leaked internal memo in which Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati tasked Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ezra Chiloba with providing an explanation for the irregularities and illegalities that led to the nullification of the August 8 presidential poll.

“I don’t know if this memo is real or not, I have seen stories both ways,” Mr Hailey responded, adding: “But what I do know and I have talked to many in the Commission about this is that they are very clear that things need to change. The Supreme Court said the previous election was not good enough so they need to make the next one better.

“So what everyone needs to do now is to just give them a bit of space, let them work that through, let them work through the issues and then work out how to make the next one better than the last one.”

The High Commissioner said he had confidence that the IEBC will be able to organise the fresh poll ordered by the Supreme Court, commenting on the “amazing” ability of Kenyans to get things done at short notice.

They made it pretty clear that there will be an election in 39 days and one of the things that struck me about this country is that Kenyans have an amazing ability to do things at short notice so I have got a lot of confidence in the IEBC.

He also stressed how the Commission needs to make changes to ensure transparency in the re-run election.

“Leaders on both sides have tried to remake the IEBC. They said the Commission needs to change, these people need to change. I think actually everyone needs to give the IEBC space and just let it get on and work out how to make the next election better than the last one,” he said.

Praising the Supreme Court ruling that nullified the August 8 Presidential election, Mr Hailey stated: “The Supreme Court ruling was a huge statement about the strength of Kenya’s institutions. Clearly what needs to happen now is people need to work out what the ruling says that they need to do better next time and then of course the IEBC needs to work that through and also must have the space to organize a fresh election.”