IEBC candidate: Winner-take-all model not good
Friday, July 23rd, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
A candidate interviewed for the position of commissioner at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said yesterday that the winner-take-it-all model of elections has done the country more harm than good.
During the last day of the oral interviews which have been ongoing for the last two weeks, Timothy Tipila, a lawyer, yesterday said that the winner-take-it-all in any election is among the factors contributing to the ills the country’s democracy.
“The law is not the problem. We have a well-established legal regime. It is the competitive nature of our elections that is the problem,” he said.
Tipila explained that the problem is made worse due to the fact the parties and candidates invest a lot resource in elections.
He further said failure by the IEBC to conduct sufficient voter and civic education is to blame for the violent situations that are witnessed during elections.
“We have not been doing sufficient education so that voters and candidates understand the process and have confidence in the electoral agency,” he added.
The interviewing panel chaired by Elizabeth Muli has so far interviewed 36 people and is expected to retreat to write its final report and provide names of the person who will replace the four commissioners who resigned from the commission
Another candidate Simeon Pkiyach also interviewed for the same position, was of the view a number of ballot papers be printed in braille to cater for the visually impaired voters.
“If I am appointed commissioner, I will push for the introduction of braille in ballot papers.
The people assisting visually impaired voters may not be trustworthy. They may have taken an oath but how sure we that they will do what is expected of them,” he stated.
Pkiyach, who was physically impaired after a road accident in 2004, further, told the panel that polling stations should be made friendly to people with mobility challenges.
“Persons living with disabilities or people who are differently-abled as I prefer to call them, should not be faced with too much difficulty moving around at the polling stations,” he added.
Pkiyach, an agricultural extension officer who has served as a presiding officer in previous polls, told the panel that pastoralist communities should be able to vote even when they are on the move.
“A policy needs to be put in place to ensure pastoralist communities vote even as they search for pasture.
We need to integrate pastoralist communities in the voting regime because elections are secondary to their lifestyle,” he explained.
Pkiyach said a system needs to be put in place to allow “mobile voting” since pastoralist communities may move to other electoral regions when elections are just about to be held.